Western NY postmaster pleads guilty to stealing postal service funds

uspsoigBUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Michael Kozina, 57, of Eden, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio, to misappropriation of postal funds by a postal service employee. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who handled the case, stated that Kozina was employed as Postmaster at the Lawtons, N.Y. post office between April 2, 2005 and July 31, 2012. As the Postmaster, the defendant accepted cash payments from more than 12 United States Postal Service customers for the purchase of money orders. Instead of depositing the cash payments into the USPS register, Kozina kept a portion of the cash for his own purposes. The defendant then falsified USPS records to make it appear that customers purchased money orders in an amount which was significantly less than what was actually paid.  As a result, losses to the USPS totaled $13,760.75. In addition, Kozina also stole $13,585 in post office box rental payments between January 1, 2009 and July 31, 2012.

“As the past public corruption cases brought by this Office demonstrate, no person is above the law,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “As head of a Post Office branch, this defendant served in a position of trust to both the Government and the public. This Office will not permit a representative or employee of any level of Government to misuse their position for personal gain.”

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-In-Charge Robert Lapina.

Sentencing will be scheduled before Chief U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny.

 

  • disqus_1o8rou0i24

    Why doesn’t the Inspection Service investigate members of Western New York upper management for the way they act toward and treat the employees who work for them? We have a PM who works in the northern suburbs of Buffalo who had a criminal record when he was a minor in New York City, never told the Post Office of this when he was hired, it was brought to their attention but the Letter Carriers Union saved his butt from getting fired and now they are dearly paying for it because this guy is now a Postmaster and responsible for hundreds of grievances in offices that he has worked in. A lot of people have filed EEO complaints about this guy, but he is still in his job! WhY?????????????? There is an old saying in the PO, “Screw up and you will be promoted to management”.