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Deadly Letters: Connecticut Woman, 94, An Unlikely Victim Of 2001 Anthrax Mail Attacks

For weeks Ottilie Lundgren hadn’t been able to shake a pesky cold, so when her niece Shirley Davis visited her Oxford home on a Friday morning and found the 94-year-old woman was having difficulty breathing, they went to the hospital.

“I remember she kept telling me, ‘I don’t know why I am so sick. What could have happened to me that I’m still sick?’ I’ve never had anything like this before,’ ” Davis recalled recently. “Oh Lord, if she only knew the truth.”

Lundgren loved to read a good mystery but seemed an unlikely candidate to become a central character in one.

But that is exactly what happened after Davis brought her to Griffin Hospital in Derby on Nov. 16, 2001. For days doctors did tests trying to find out what was making Lundgren so sick. It wasn’t until one doctor tested for anthrax that the reality set in — somehow a mostly housebound elderly woman had been poisoned with the same anthrax that had been sent to U.S. senators and media outlets.

Read more: Deadly Letters: Oxford Woman, 94, An Unlikely Victim Of 2001 Anthrax Mail Attacks – Courant.com.

Man sentenced for robbing postal worker

Brandon B. Handy of Opelousas has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for assaulting and robbing a U.S. Postal Service contract carrier.

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley said that sentence against Handy, 33, was handed down by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote. Handy was also sentenced to five years of supervised release once he serves his prison time.

During a two-day trail, Finley said witness testimony and documents admitted into evidence established that Handy and another individual wearing masks and armed with a pistol robbed a U.S. Postal Service contract driver on Aug. 13, 2011, at the Lawtell Post Office.

Read more: Man sentenced for robbing postal worker | Daily World | dailyworld.com.

California letter carrier arrested for Workers’ Comp fraud

13768258403_046574a541_mLOS ANGELES, Calif. – Wayne Lu, 53 of Torrance is in custody on charges of alleged workers’ compensation fraud associated with an injury received during his employment with the U.S. Postal Service. Detectives from the California Department of Insurance, with the assistance of U.S. Postal Inspectors, arrested Lu on Tuesday, April 8 in Manhattan Beach.

“Workers’ compensation fraud is not a victimless crime,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Fraudulent claims inflate premiums for all consumers and cast unnecessary doubt on workers that are truly injured and deserve timely treatment and rehabilitation.”

California Department of Insurance Detectives and United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agents conducted a joint investigation and learned that Lu was working as a massage therapist despite his claims of shoulder injury. Surveillance and undercover operations by Fraud Division Detectives proved that Lu was a working massage therapist and failed to report said employment or improvement of condition to the United States Department of Labor, the entity that handles workers’ compensation for the U.S. Postal Service.

Detectives from CDI’s Fraud Division are currently part of a task force operated by the Office of Inspector General – Postal Inspection Unit, focused on investigating and arresting postal employees who are suspected of committing insurance fraud in the State of California. Wayne Lu is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud and the case will be prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Long Island CCA sold marijuana from mail truck, police say

A U.S. Postal Service worker was arrested after he sold marijuana from his mail truck in the Merrick office’s parking lot, Nassau County police said Thursday.

Jimmy Henry, 29, of Freeport, a post office employee, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal sale of marijuana after police said they saw him make a sale in the parking lot of the Merrick Post Office, at 2020 Merrick Rd., about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Henry, of 555 S. Bayview Ave., and Jennie Pappas, 24 — who police say purchased the marijuana — were issued appearance tickets.

Read more: Jimmy Henry, Merrick postal worker, sold marijuana from mail truck, police say – Newsday.

APWU: USPS Needs Real Reform – Not More Austerity

APWU Web News Article #064-14, April 9, 2014

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

The Postal Service needs real reform — not the austerity proposed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and the White House, APWU President Mark Dimondstein said after an April 8 hearing by a House committee. The hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Rep. Issa chairs, focused on White House budget items concerning the Postal Service. Unfortunately, Issa found a lot to like in the administration’s proposals.

President Dimondstein’s remarks are below:

“Yesterday’s hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, focused on a White House budget that would harm service, drive away business, and eliminate jobs. It calls for the immediate end of Saturday delivery and would allow the Postal Service to begin to shift from door delivery to centralized delivery. Many of the concepts in the administration’s budget can be found in H.R. 2748, a bill sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa.

“The proposed budget also fails to eliminate the pre-funding requirement of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which is the fundamental cause of the Postal Service’s manufactured financial crisis. Instead, it would simply restructure the payments. The pre-funding requirement is consistently cited as justification for shuttering mail processing plants, lowering service standards and slowing the mail.

“These budget proposals were first developed in 2011 and have been repeated in proposals since then. They weren’t worthy proposals then and they certainly aren’t now.

“With the Postal Service posting operating profits in mail and package delivery, there is absolutely no justification to continue a strategy of austerity. Instead of damaging the infrastructure and network that is essential for providing service, the Postal Service must expand service. The recent report by USPS Office of Inspector General that endorses offering financial services is the exactly the kind of innovation that is needed.”

 

Tennessee postal couple plead guilty to workers comp fraud

uspsoigKNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On Apr. 4, 2014, Carol J Pazder, 61, and Richard Pazder, 67, of Maryville, Tenn., appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville. Carol J. Pazder pleaded guilty to providing false statements to obtain federal employees benefits. Her husband, Richard Pazder, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting in the false statements.

Sentencing is set for 10:00 a.m., Jun. 20, 2014. Both face a term of five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and restitution.

The Pazders were both previously employed by the U.S Postal Service. Carol J. Pazder claimed false injuries at work. She and her husband Richard Pazder claimed the injuries were so painful she could only walk stand or sit for a few minutes at a time and was therefore unable to work and collected unemployment compensation. The couple was video-taped taking a cruise, disembarking at three ports of call and walking for hours at a time, followed by a trip to Disneyland.

In December 2013 an indictment, which included the aforementioned charges, was returned against the Pazders by a federal grand jury sitting in Knoxville, Tenn. This indictment was the result of an ongoing investigation by U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General. Jennifer Kolman, Assistant United States Attorney represented the United States.

Police: Hunt continues for suspect in Flippin Post Office burglary

Investigators are still looking for whoever broke into the Flippin Post Office on March 27, according to Cpt. Bill Hilligoss of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

When the break-in occurred, Flippin Police Chief Dusty Smith said the person who committed the crime knew what they were after and where to find it.

“It appeared to be a person who knew what they were after,” Smith said. “It appeared to be a more organized thing than a random thing.”

Read more: Police: Hunt continues for suspect in Flippin Post Office burglary | The Baxter Bulletin | baxterbulletin.com.

Letter carrier is among 25 suspects charged in Florida tax refund fraud crackdown

US-Department-Of-Justi_fmtYesterday authorities in Miami announced the filing of federal charges against 25 defendants in 19 separate cases, dealing with thousands of stolen identities and millions of dollars of fraudulent identity theft tax filings.

One of the twenty five accused was a letter carrier: Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Surveillance of suspects in post office credit card skimming case

BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

Deputies are searching for suspects caught on camera in a credit and debit card fraud investigation involving the post office.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance photos Tuesday of suspects and people of interest in the case.

Deputies said surveillance cameras captured them making charges and withdrawals on other people’s accounts up to $500 at a time.

The investigation began last month after three people reported getting fraudulent charges on their accounts after buying stamps from self-service kiosks at post offices in Beaverton and Aloha.

KPTV – FOX 12

Read more: Surveillance of suspects in post office credit card fraud case – KPTV – FOX 12.

Fox News personality attacks DOJ for not prosecuting USPS credit card abusers

Celebrating The Arts In American Dinner Party With Distinguished Women In Media Presented By Landmark Technology Inc. And The Creative Coalition - ArrivalsIt probably won’t come as a surprise that Fox News is livid about reports that USPS managers misused government travel cards. Last night the network’s reigning outrage queen, Scientologist Greta Van Susteren, went off on the Attorney General for not immediately sending those managers to Guantanamo:

For reasons not totally unclear to me, Holder and the Justice Department are not prosecuting the postal service manager who got caught stealing $35,000. She is using her government credit card for gambling, rental cars, personal things and each wrongful use of her credit card is a separate felony.

Now Greta is supposedly an actual lawyer, so you’d think she’d do a little research before going off on a tantrum, even on Fox News, but she obviously didn’t bother this time.

So let’s help Greta understand this one:

  1. First of all, no one was “caught stealing” anything. As we’ve pointed out before, government travel cards are issued in the name of the cardholder, NOT the US Postal Service. If some idiot manager uses his government travel card for “personal things”, it’s the idiot manager who gets billed and is responsible for making payment, NOT the USPS or “the taxpayer”.
  2. Greta asks “And one other thing, why is the government issuing credit cards? That is so crazy.” Actually Greta, the government doesn’t issue the credit cards- Citibank does. Of course, I suppose you could make the case that Citibank and the rest of its Wall Street buddies pretty much run the government in this country, so Greta’s confusion is understandable.
  3. So Greta, how do you guys at Fox News handle travel expenses? “We use our own credit cards and submit receipts showing legitimate expenses and that we get reimbursed. That way, no stealing.” Hey great idea! But that’s pretty much what happens at the USPS too, except for the business about “using our own credit cards”. Of course Greta probably likes using her own credit card, because that way she gets perks like rebates, frequent flier miles, etc. I somehow doubt that Greta flies coach!

As we’ve said before, postal employees who abuse government travel cards don’t deserve to work for the USPS- and if they actually have broken any laws, they should be prosecuted (although lawyer Greta doesn’t explain exactly what law makes every instance of credit card misuse “a separate felony”.) . But it would be nice if we could stick to the facts instead of making up phony scandals just so extremists with an axe to grind can rant and rave about them.

Read more: Greta: Attorney General Eric Holder, prosecute government credit card abuse or resign | Off the Record | On the Record | Fox News.