BOSTON – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee was sentenced today for embezzling over $20,000 in payments from customers.
Austin Correia, 22, of New Bedford, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to 24 months of probation, with the first three months to be served in home confinement, and 25 hours of community service. In July 2019, Correia pleaded guilty to one count of theft of embezzlement and theft of public money, property or records. As part of his plea agreement, he has already paid $20,584 in restitution to the USPS in full.
Correia began working for USPS at the end of 2017 as a Sales & Service Distribution Associate at both the Mount Pleasant and Coffin Station Post Offices in New Bedford. In this role, Correia had the ability to issue foreign and domestic postal money orders and sell stamps to customers. Correia engaged in a scheme in which he received a cash payment from customers to purchase stamps or money orders, but voided out the valid transactions to make it appear as if they did not occur. Correia provided the customer with the USPS product, but took the cash payment for his own personal use either by pocketing the money or by purchasing gift cards sold at the Post Office. In total, Correia embezzled over $20,000 from USPS.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Matthew Modafferi, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Office, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris of Lelling’s Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the case.