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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


AUGUST 9, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FORMER HUMPHREYS POSTMASTER PLEADS GUILTY

TO MONEY ORDER FRAUD


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that the former postmaster for the U.S. Postal Service in Humphreys, Mo., has pleaded guilty in federal court to fraudulently issuing money orders.


             Janet K. Elliott, 57, of Humphreys, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr., on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007, to a federal information. Elliott began her duties as postmaster of the Humphreys post office on Feb. 10, 2001.


             By pleading guilty, Elliott admitted that, from Sept. 27, 2003, through Sept. 7, 2006, she issued 185 money orders without having paid the full amount of money for them. Elliott generally issued personal money orders to pay creditors, household bills, and the Missouri Department of Corrections.


             The total loss incurred by the U.S. Postal Service during the three years Elliott fraudulently issued money orders was $21,442.


             Elliott also admitted that she reported those money orders late. Under federal law, the issuance of money orders must be reported on the same day they are issued. In addition to those 185 money orders, which were for Elliott’s benefit or for her mother’s benefit, Elliott reported 103 customers’ money orders late.


            Under federal statutes, Elliott could be subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Pansing Brown. It was investigated by U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html