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United States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
Press Release

May 26, 2011

HARTFORD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHARGE
STEMMING FROM SCHEME TO STEAL TAX REFUND CHECKS

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSUE MERCADO, also known as “Ariel,” 29, of Hudson Street, Hartford, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to one count of possession of stolen mail.

According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning in June 2010, MERCADO participated in a scheme to steal tax refund checks issued by the United States Treasury.  As part of the scheme, MERCADO acted as a courier between a United States Postal Service letter carrier and individuals located in New York City.  The letter carrier would steal treasury refund checks from the mail and provide the checks to MERCADO.  MERCADO then paid the letter carrier for his role in the scheme and delivered the checks to other scheme participants in New York.

On March 9, 2011, MERCADO received and possessed 11 envelopes containing federal tax refund checks that he knew to be stolen from the U.S. mail.

As part of his plea agreement, MERCADO has acknowledged that the U.S. Treasury has suffered losses of between $10,000 and $30,000 as a result of his involvement in the scheme.

Judge Droney has scheduled sentencing for August 12, 2011, at which time MERCADO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General; the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Mattei.

 

CONTACT:

 

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

 

 

 

 

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