An employee with the United States Postal Service was accused of stealing checks worth at least $24 million from the postal service and colluding with two others to sell the stolen checks, according to prosecutors.
Charlotte, North Carolina, resident 29-year-old Nakedra Shannon was working for the postal service between March 2021 and July 2023, when she allegedly began stealing checks towards the end of her time with her employer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina announced Friday.
She and fellow Charlotte residents 27-year-old Donnell Gardner, and 24-year-old Desiray Carter were hit with charges of one count of conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud and five counts of theft of government property.
Carter and Gardner face an additional seven counts of possession of stolen mail, while Shannon faces an additional eight counts of theft of mail by a postal employee, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Authorities unsealed the federal indictment against the trio after their first court appearance.
Shannon worked with Gardner and Carter to steal incoming and outgoing checks at a Charlotte postal processing and distribution center, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and reporting from The Charlotte Observer.
The scheme, according to prosecutors, lasted between April and July 2023.
The trio, according to the indictment, were accused of stealing over $12 million in checks, which they later allegedly sold on a Telegram channel named OG Glass House, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Shannon, Gardner, and Carter also allegedly stole over $8 million worth of U.S. Treasury checks, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Do you still trust the United States Postal Service?
According to reporting from NBC News, the Telegram channel was run by Carter, who used the username “SW1PER” on the app.
On the channel, Carter would put out advertisements for selling the stolen checks. Then, Gardner would send the buyer the stolen checks, the indictment alleged, according to NBC News.
Any money from the sale, according to the indictment, would be split between Carter and Shannon getting 50 percent, while Gardner got the remaining 50 percent, NBC News reported.
From their scheme, the trio made “hundreds of thousands of dollars in criminal proceeds,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
The conspiracy was discovered as part of an investigation carried out by the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Department of Treasury Bureau of the Fiscal Service, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the Observer reported.
Shannon, Gardner, and Carter have been released on bond after their first court appearances on Friday.
To uncover the scheme, undercover police officers pretended to be buyers, whom Carter then guided to a CashApp account and Bitcoin wallet, NBC News reported.
The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud comes with a maximum penalty of 30 years’ imprisonment. The statuary maximum penalty for theft by postal employees and possession of stolen mail is five years’ imprisonment for the counts charged, while theft of government property comes with a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment per offense, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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