News and Press Releases

Robert S. Lockett Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Helena, on June 4, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, ROBERT S. LOCKETT, a resident of Helena, appeared for sentencing. LOCKETT was sentenced to a term of:

  • Community Confinement: 180 days
  • Probation: 5 years
  • Community Service: 100 hours
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Restitution: $2,443.50

LOCKETT was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to theft of government property.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

LOCKETT was a United States Postal Service ("USPS") mail clerk, at the Contract Postal Unit in the Montana State Capitol Building ("Capitol Station") in Helena, from July 30, 2007, until June 2008. LOCKETT was terminated from the Capitol Station in June of 2008. The Capitol Station provided post office box delivery services and the sale of USPS retail products like stamps and money orders to the public.

In July of 2008, law enforcement was contacted by the management at the Helena Main Post Office concerning money orders that originated from the Capitol Station between April and July of 2008. The money orders were issued to LOCKETT and made payable to several Helena casinos, the City of Helena, and a Helena storage business.

USPS management also had several questionable money orders that originated from the Capitol Station that LOCKETT allegedly sold to private citizens.

The questionable money orders were all noted as issued by LOCKETT. None of the questionable money orders issued to LOCKETT or the private citizens appeared in the USPS accounting system as sold. The money orders in question were also issued out of sequence.

Law enforcement obtained the questionable money orders and interviewed LOCKETT. During the interview, LOCKETT admitted he issued and presented Capitol Station money orders without paying for them. LOCKETT stated he began taking money orders in April of 2008 to have cash for a gambling trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, to celebrate his 40th birthday. LOCKETT admitted presenting and cashing seven USPS money orders at two local Helena casinos between April and July of 2008.

LOCKETT admitted taking two money orders to pay for personal expenses as well. Specifically, LOCKETT used one money order to pay for a storage unit and another to make his restitution payment to the city of Helena in an unrelated criminal case.

LOCKETT admitted that he intentionally failed to report the sale of the money orders into the USPS accounting system and withheld the "white" money order vouchers used to document the sale of the money orders.

LOCKETT also admitted he sold five money orders to private citizens, but failed to report the sale of the money orders into the USPS accounting system. LOCKETT said he kept the money from the sale of the money orders. LOCKETT admitted he kept the money order vouchers used to document the sale of the money orders to conceal his conduct.

LOCKETT took $1,760 in money orders without paying the face value of the document and failed to remit $1,004.50 in cash paid by customers of the Capitol Station for money orders he issued. The total amount taken by LOCKETT is $2,764.50. LOCKETT returned $321 in cash to law enforcement during his interview.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that LOCKETT will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, LOCKETT does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.



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