EVANSVILLE – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Ann K. Gauer, age 52, of Evansville, has been formally charged with theft of mail as a postal worker. Gauer, who was an employee of the U.S. Postal Service at the time of her alleged acts, faces years in federal prison for a scheme that prosecutors say may have gone on for months.
“This office has zero tolerance for those who would use their public position to enrich themselves at the expense of their fellow Hoosiers,” said Hogsett. “Whether through fraud, waste or abuse of the system, this type of behavior has no place in government at any level.”
According to the charging document, which was filed this morning, prosecutors allege a scheme that began sometime in late 2012. Gauer, who was working as a support employee at the Evansville Postal Service Processing and Distribution Facility, allegedly would open envelopes containing greeting cards, removing money and gift cards that she would find inside. In one example cited within court documents, Gauer allegedly stole a $30 Walmart gift card from a birthday card, using the card two days later at an Evansville-area store.
“The vast majority of the Postal Service’s 500,000 employees are honest, hard-working individuals who would never steal from the mail,” said U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Acting Special Agent in Charge Monica Weyler. “However, when a postal employee decides to betray the public’s trust, special agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General work diligently to investigate and seek the prosecution of those responsible.”
This prosecution comes as Hogsett has made it a priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to aggressively combat corruption and fraud in central and southern Indiana. In discussing the case, Hogsett praised the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, saying their investigative work was invaluable in building this case. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Gauer faces up to five years in prison if she is convicted, as well as fines that could reach a quarter of a million dollars.
Hogsett said that if members of the public have information on postal misconduct, they should contact the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General at www.uspsoig.gov or 1-888-USPS-OIG.
An Information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.