Father and son charged in bulk mail fraud scheme

NEWARK, N.J. – The father and son operators of Clevett Worldwide Mailers, a Succasunna, N.J., bulk mailing house, will make their initial court appearances today on charges they defrauded clients and the U.S. Postal Service of more than $1.5 million through two fraudulent bulk-mailing schemes, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Harold Clevett, 67, of Middlesex, N.J., and Mark Clevett, 36, of Randolph, N.J., surrendered early this morning to face a seven-count Indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Sept. 5, 2012. The Clevetts are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to steal government property, and one count of theft of government property. Both Clevetts are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz later today in Newark federal court.

According to the Indictment:

Mark Clevett owned, and both Clevetts operated, Clevett Worldwide Mailers, which contracted with international clients to handle large mailings. Clients sent their mail jobs to Clevett Worldwide Mailers for sorting, addressing, and delivery to the post office. Clevett Worldwide Mailers received fees from their clients for each piece of mail and for the total weight of the mail that it handled.

Rather than mailing the full amount of the jobs that they had agreed to mail, Mark and Harold Clevett directed their employees to throw away or shred all or part of their clients’ mailings. Ultimately, Mark and Harold Clevett charged their clients for the full amount of the mailings and sent their clients fraudulent postal forms to make it appear as though the mailings had actually been delivered. Between 2007 and June 2011, clients paid Clevett Worldwide Mailers at least $1.5 million for mail that the Clevetts caused to be destroyed instead of mailed.

In addition to defrauding private clients, Mark and Harold Clevett defrauded the U.S. Postal Service. Clevett Worldwide Mailers received a discount from the Post Office for transporting mail, at its own expense, from an initial Post Office facility to a final distribution facility. After paying for mail at the first facility, and prior to delivering the mail to the distribution facility, Harold and Mark Clevett directed their employees to stuff the sacks of paid mail with thousands of pieces of unpaid mail. This fraud lasted from August 2010 through October 2010 and resulted in a loss of over $30,000 to the Post Office.

If convicted, Mark and Harold Clevett face a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit wire fraud count and the substantive wire fraud counts, 10 years in prison for the theft of government property count, and five years in prison for the conspiracy to steal government property count. All of the counts also carry a fine equal to the greater of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Philip R. Bartlett, with the investigation leading to the indictment.