California postal worker convicted in money order theft scheme

OAKLAND, Calif. – Emmanuel Odion Esezobor was convicted by a federal jury yesterday of one count of theft of public money and seven counts of passing counterfeit U.S. obligations, United States Attorney Melinda Haag, Special Agent in Charge Nichole Cooper of the Postal Service Office of Inspector General’s Pacific Area Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Andrew Adelmann of the U.S. Secret Service San Francisco Field Office announced.

The jury found that Esezobor stole $13,800 from the U.S. Postal Service and passed counterfeit bills at the Alamo Post Office on seven different days in February and March 2011. The guilty verdict followed a 3-day jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken.

Evidence at trial showed that Esezobor, 51 of Hayward, Calif., issued himself $13,800 worth of U.S. postal money orders and purported to pay for those money orders with counterfeit $100 bills. Esezobor knew these bills were counterfeit and had passed similar counterfeit bills at his credit union in Hayward in November 2010.

“Today’s verdict sends a clear message that theft by a postal employee is a very serious crime and will not be tolerated,” Special Agent in Charge Cooper of the Postal Service Office of Inspector General said. “The overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees are honest, trustworthy individuals. But when a postal employee, such as Mr. Esezobor, betrays that trust, Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agents vigorously investigate those matters. This conviction reflects the continuing commitment of both the OIG and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring to account those who violate the law.”

Special Agent in Charge Adelmann of the Secret Service added, “This verdict reinforces the effectiveness law enforcement partnerships and collaboration on joint investigations has on addressing serious violations of federal law.”

Esezobor was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 14, 2011.

The sentencing of Esezobor is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2011, before U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland. The maximum statutory penalty for theft of public money, in violation 18 U.S.C. § 641, is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of passing counterfeit U.S. obligations, in violation 18 U.S.C. § 472, is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Brian Lewis and Joshua Hill are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Noble Hughes, Janice Pagsanjan, and Vanessa Vargas. The prosecution is the result of a year-long investigation by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Secret Service.

via Press Release – United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California.

Union Launches Petition Drive to Save America’s Postal Service

President Guffey is asking APWU members to collect signatures on a petition to Congress urging senators and representatives to oppose USPS plans to close post offices, shutter mail processing facilities, and drastically degrade service to the American people.

In a letter to state and local presidents dated Oct. 26, 2011, President Guffey wrote, “It is urgent that we bring as much political pressure as possible to bear against the Postal Service’s plans to dismantle its network of processing, distribution and retail facilities.” Continue reading

eBay petition asks Congress to "support online businesses by providing relief to USPS"

eBay’s government relations office has started an online petition to ask Congress to support the US Postal Service. A statement on the petition page says “eBay supports financial relief for the USPS and forward-thinking policies to restructure the postal service and keep shipping rates affordable. It is imperative that eBay small businesses have access to low-cost, reliable shipping alternatives.”

Dear Senator/Representative:

Please take swift action to provide relief to the United States Postal Service (USPS). It’s very important that U.S. postal operations remain strong and solvent to ensure small Internet-enabled businesses have access to affordable shipping rates.

Small businesses depend on the affordable and reliable services provided by the USPS to get their products to customers. Together, e-commerce retailers constitute a USPS “super user,” and have helped offset some of the decline in traditional mail by generating increasing numbers of products for delivery. In fact, the Census Bureau has noted that e-commerce retail sales to consumers reached an all-time high in 2009, with total sales of $145 billion. And that number continues to grow as more and more businesses use the Internet to reach a new consumer base.

As online retail grows, affordable and competitive shipping rates are more and more important to the industry. Affordable shipping rates are particularly important to small e-commerce retailers that compete with large online and multi-channel retailers. Already, small businesses do not enjoy the same volume-based shipping rates that larger retailers command. This price difference is a challenge for small business retailers competing in a world of big retailers. Increases to USPS shipping rates would further jeopardize small retailers’ competitiveness.

It is essential that any restructuring of the USPS preserve competition in the marketplace, while ensuring affordable and timely shipping options. I urge you to support small online businesses by passing legislation that would provide relief to the USPS and retain competitive, affordable shipping rates for small businesses.

Sincerely,

via eBay Main Street Online Petition – Review Petition Text.

Manasota FL postal facility will remain open

From the Bradenton Herald:

The U.S. Postal Service announced Monday that it has completed its study of mail processing operations at the Manasota Processing & Distribution Center.

“This was a careful review,” said District Manager David Patterson in a press release, “and we have determined that there will be no significant changes made at this time.”

via Manasota postal facility in Tallevast will remain open – Local – BradentonHerald.com.