CHICAGO — A former U.S. Postal Service mail carrier who was assigned to the post office in west suburban Berwyn between 1999 and 2011 was sentenced today to 2½ years in federal prison for possessing more than 29,400 pieces of first class mail that were intended for delivery to a charity on his route and contained more than $275,000 in donations. The defendant, Frederick L. Taylor, pleaded guilty in August to possessing stolen mail, admitting that in August 2011 he possessed at least 29,403 donation envelopes in his residence in Chicago that contained or had contained cash, checks, credit card payments, and money orders intended for unnamed Charity A from approximately 25,000 different donors.
Taylor, 41, of Chicago, repeatedly abused the trust placed in him as Postal Service employee, U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve said in imposing the 30-month sentence, which she ordered Taylor to begin serving on Feb. 21, 2013. The judge also ordered Taylor to pay restitution totaling $275,911 to a third-party trust administrator that covered the charity’s loss.
The sentencing was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Scott Caspall, Executive Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.
“Stealing mail and its contents, or preventing delivery of donations to a charity organization as occurred in this case, is a serious crime that carries stiff consequences as this sentence demonstrates,” Mr. Caspall said. “The message is clear: postal employees who steal or abandon mail will be throwing away their postal career and face criminal prosecution and jail time,” he said.
According to court records, between approximately August 2010 and August 2011, Taylor stole mail addressed to Charity A in Berwyn. At times, after finding mail addressed to Charity A, Taylor would open the mail inside his postal vehicle and steal the contents. Other times, he opted not to open or deliver Charity A mail and instead kept the envelopes inside his mail satchel. He would then place the satchel in his personal vehicle and later open the mail at his home. On Aug.
8, 2011, Taylor was found to possess several pieces of first class mail containing approximately $100 cash intended for Charity A, as well as at least 30 additional donation envelopes that were intended for delivery on that day.
On the same day, at Taylor’s home, investigators discovered approximately 29,400 donation envelopes that indicated they had contained approximately $17,741 in cash, and contained $250,346 in checks, $6,143 in credit card payments, and $1,681 in money orders, all of which represented donations intended for Charity A from approximately 25,000 different donors.
The government was represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Rotter.