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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 8, 2014

Former Postmaster Sentenced for Stealing Postal Service Funds

 

     BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Michael Kozina, 57, of Eden, N.Y., who was convicted of misappropriation of postal funds by a postal service employee, was sentenced to six months in prison by U.S. District Judge U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The defendant was also ordered to pay $27,345.75 in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service.

            “We have stated on numerous occasions that those who work in Government owe the public the highest duties of honesty and integrity,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul.  “This Office will not tolerate those who would steal from the taxpayers they serve.”

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who handled the case, stated that Kozina was employed as Postmaster at the Lawtons, N.Y. Post Office between April 2, 2005 and July 31, 2012. As the Postmaster, the defendant accepted cash payments from more than 12 United States Postal Service customers for the purchase of money orders. Instead of depositing the cash payments into the USPS register, Kozina kept a portion of the cash for his own purposes. The defendant then falsified USPS records to make it appear that customers purchased money orders in an amount which was significantly less than what was actually paid.

As a result, losses to the USPS totaled $13,760.75. In addition, Kozina also stole $13,585 in post office box rental payments between January 1, 2009 and July 31, 2012.       

The conviction was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-In-Charge Monica Weyler.