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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.

Video: Man Hides in Bushes, Catches Teens Stealing Packages

Tired of having packages stolen from his front door, a resident in San Diego’s Chula Vista area caught a group of teenage thieves in the act by hiding in some bushes and jumping out just as the teens were grabbing more loot, police said.

Turns out, the teens had accumulated quite the collection of lifted items – and not just from the man who caught them red-handed.

According to police, Chad Bear set up the sting to bust the teens in front of his home in the 1400-block of Trailwood Avenue on Thursday. One day earlier, Bear learned his neighbor had found some packaging material in his yard with Bear’s address on it.

Read more: Man Hides in Bushes, Catches Teens Stealing Packages | NBC 7 San Diego.

New Jersey bulk mailer gets 18 months for million dollar fraud

inspectorNEWARK, N.J. – One of the operators of Clevett Worldwide Mailers LLC, a Succasunna, N.J., bulk mailing house, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for defrauding clients of more than $1 million through a fraudulent bulk-mailing scheme in which he shredded millions of pieces of mail rather than delivering them, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Harold Clevett, 68, of Middlesex, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

Clevett’s son, Mark Clevett, 37, of Randolph, N.J., who owned and operated the business with his father, also previously pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced to 24 months in prison on Feb. 24, 2014.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

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

Both father and son admitted that rather than sending their clients’ mail as contracted, they directed their employees to throw away all or part of it, and even called in a shredding company to destroy unsent mail.

Mark and Harold Clevett also acknowledged they charged their customers for the full amount of the mailings, even sending some of their customers fraudulent postal forms to make it appear as though the mailings were delivered. The pair admitted that between 2007 and June 2011, they discarded and shredded nearly 3 million pieces of customer mail and reaped nearly $1 million in illicit profits.

In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Harold Clevett to serve one year of supervised release, six months of which will be home confinement and ordered him to pay restitution of $999,461.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rahul Agarwal and Michael Robertson of the U.S Attorney’s Office in Newark.

Read more: USDOJ: US Attorney’s Office – District of New Jersey.

Georgia Postal Worker Indicted for Role in Planning Robbery

inspectorATLANTA – LaTonya Evans has been indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy and armed robbery charges for her role in planning a postal robbery in Conley, Ga., on December 20, 2013–a robbery that resulted in the near-fatal shooting of a postal truck driver by two other defendants charged with Evans in the same indictment.

“Evans is charged with exploiting her inside knowledge of the Postal Service for personal profit,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “The conspiracy she is charged with participating in resulted in the near-death of a fellow postal worker whom Evans knew. The indictment charges that he was shot, bound, and left for dead by Evans’ co-defendants. We will always aggressively prosecute anyone who commits this kind of horrendous act.” Read the rest of this entry »

Thieving Warrington postman swiped cash from letters

A thieving postman ripped open letters addressed to prisoners containing greetings cards to steal hundreds of pounds.

Dad-of-two Richard Anthony Crook, 33, pleaded guilty to six counts of theft and was warned by magistrates that he could face prison.

Crook, of Hamilton Street, Swinton, started work as a postman in 1999 and was based at the Royal Mail’s north west distribution centre in Warrington. He was sacked after he was caught in the act as part of a surveillance sting.

Read more: Richard Anthony Crook: Thieving postman swiped cash from letters – Manchester Evening News.