FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
JULY 30, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Beltsville Business Owner Pleads Guilty in Fraud Scheme
Baltimore, Maryland - Robert A. Dunbebin, age 53, of Beltsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to fraudulent use of a government seal in connection with a scheme to wrongfully obtain $162,298 in postage and handling fees in exchange for falsely promising to make bulk mailings on behalf of a nonprofit business.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel S. Cortez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division.
According to the plea agreement, Dunbebin owned American Mail Sort, LLC (AMS), providing mail sorting and processing, bulk mail handling and other services related to large volume mailings to the United States Postal Service (USPS). He operated his business at 3501 Brehms Lane in Baltimore.
The Review and Herald Publishing Association, Inc. (R and H) was a nonprofit corporation affiliated with The Seventh Day Adventist Church. R and H published religious materials at its printing facility in Hagerstown. R and H contracted with Dunbebin to provide mail sorting services, including picking up printed materials from its Hagerstown location, preparing the mail for shipment outside of the United States, paying the necessary postage and delivering the materials to the appropriate USPS facility.
From January 2004 through December 2005, Dunbebin, falsely represented that he had submitted bulk mailings to the USPS for international mailing on behalf of R and H, and collected both postage and servicing fees for doing so. Officials at R and H were advised by the addressees who resided outside the United States that the materials submitted to Dunbebin to be mailed were not received. When R and H officials advised Dunbebin of these complaints, Dunbebin insisted that he had mailed the materials. To substantiate his claim that he had submitted the materials to the USPS, Dunbebin faxed to R and H a copy of a Postal form upon which was impressed an USPS seal with the date of Sep 6, 2005 and markings of the USPS BMEU facility in Baltimore, Maryland. The form is issued to the permit holder to document the submission of materials for international mailing with the seal of the USPS impressed to authenticate the submission.
Evidence seized at the AMS facility on Brehms Lane pursuant to a search warrant in February 2006 showed that Dunbebin created the faxed document by cutting off the USPS seal from a genuine form and copying it onto an altered form given to R and H. U.S. Postal Inspectors recovered numerous R and H materials from the AMS facility that had been picked up by Dunbebin for international mailing and not mailed. Dunbebin had submitted invoices on which he had been paid for postage and his service fees. The Postal Inspectors returned the items found in the search to R and H which inventoried the materials and compared them to the AMS invoices. R and H had paid $162,298.90 for postage and servicing fees on the materials that were seized by the USPS and returned.
Dunbebin faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for October 14, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning, who is prosecuting the case.