Michael Petzmeier, a window clerk at the Fremont, Nebraska post office, was sentenced yesterday to to probation for a term of 3 years and $3,960.71 in restitution for stealing postal funds and filing false reports to cover up his crime. The sentence was the result of a plea bargain. At the plea hearing the US Attorney summarized the government’s case:
If we had gone to trial in this matter the United States would have been able to establish by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Peitzmeier was an employee with the United States Postal Service. He began his employment in approximately the calendar year 1995. And that during the timeframe alleged in the indictment, he was employed at the Fremont branch post office, employed in a position of lead sales and service associate.
That particular position, Your Honor, involved him interacting with the public wanting to purchase postal products, including stamps. At that particular time, Your Honor, the postal service employed a computerized system which essentially tracked transactions that clerks would engage in with the public. And — and the employee would — would have to submit on a daily basis a report to reflect the transactions that he or she had engaged in during the course of his or her business day.
It came to the attention of the Office of Inspector General with the Postal — Postal Inspection Service that there were discrepancies with respect to transactions from the post office where Mr. Peitzmeier was employed. And the investigation resulted in an audit and ultimately some surveillance being put in place.
And it was determined that Mr. Peitzmeier had engaged in a number of transactions where he had sold postal products, primarily stamps, and either didn’t record the — the transaction in the computerized system as it should’ve been, or somehow deleted it, or there were instances where he was videotaped actually taking proceeds from the transactions that he had engaged in and putting those proceeds in his pockets.
Each of these types of improprieties were not reflected in a daily report that he was obligated to submit to the postal service as a consequence of employ — of his employment. So those would be the facts that we would have been able to establish if we’d gone to trial in this matter.