Former Postal Service Employee Sentenced For Stealing Government Money
Welch Stole More than $30,000 in Public Money and
Purchased a Golf Cart and Boat Supplies
ATLANTA, GA - KENNETH WELCH, 44, of Cumming, Georgia, was sentenced to federal prison today by Senior United States District Court Judge J. Owen Forrester for stealing more than $30,000 of government funds while working as a contractor for the U.S. Postal Service.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “Our citizens assume that government workers, particularly those who have direct responsibility for government money, will be diligent and honest with every taxpayer dollar. In this economy, we can least afford to have someone in a position of trust wildly spending taxpayer money on golf carts and boat motors. This money belongs to the government and to the people, and those who do not safeguard it will no longer work for the government or walk in freedom with the people.”
“The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General takes these cases very seriously and investigates them to the fullest extent of the law,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Bowman. “Mr. Welch reflects a very small percentage of employees who failed to uphold the integrity placed in them while handling Postal funds. The general public should be reminded that the majority of postal employees remain committed to exhibiting the highest moral character and trust that customers expect and deserve.”
WELCH was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months of home confinement to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $32,577 in restitution. He was also ordered to perform 80 hours of community service. WELCH pleaded guilty to the charges on November 3, 2011.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: WELCH, a contracting officer with fiscal responsibility with the U.S. Postal Service, engaged in two schemes to defraud the U.S. Postal Service. First, from April 2010 to December 2010, he used Government-issued credit cards, originally issued to other employees and turned over to WELCH in his role at the U.S. Postal Service, and he purchased over $19,000 in luxury gifts for himself and his family. WELCH used the credit cards to purchase the gifts through online retailers, which included a golf cart and boat motor. In the second scheme, from August 2010 to December 2010, WELCH created fraudulent contracts and paid money to his personal commercial repair and renovation business for services that his company did not complete. WELCH took money left unused on other valid contracts that was to pay for the completion of construction work at the Decatur Main Post Office in Decatur, Georgia, and the Warner Robins Post Office in Warner Robins, Georgia. As a contracting officer, WELCH’s responsibility was to properly re-apply any funds leftover on valid contracts. Instead, WELCH simply paid portions of those remaining funds to himself, taking more than $13,000 in public money.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Assistant United States Attorney Timothy J. Storino prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.