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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

July 13, 2012


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Robert J. Hart, Jr., 50, of Cranston, R.I., a former United States Postal Service employee, was sentenced in federal court in Providence today to two years of probation, ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, and to make full restitution and write a personal letter of apology to each of the individuals identified by the court as being victims whose greeting cards Hart opened and removed the contents from in September and October 2011 while sorting mail in Providence.

Hart pleaded guilty on March 22, 2012, to theft by a postal employee of the mail. No plea agreement was filed in this matter.

Hart’s sentence, which was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Rafael Medina, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG), Northeast Area Field Office.

According to information presented to the court, an investigator from the USPS OIG recovered 203 pieces of rifled mail in September and October 2011 that had been processed at the Providence Processing and Distribution Center. All of the rifled mail recovered was first class greeting cards mailed from outside of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The mail had been slit open along the top seam and cash removed from cards.

According to information presented to the court, on October 12, 2011, USPS OIG agents placed two pieces of mail which contained greeting cards with marked $20 bills in processing trays to be handled by Hart, and conducted surveillance of Hart’s actions. As agents watched, Hart removed a cutting instrument from his pocket as he processed the mail. The greeting cards placed by agents for processing by Hart were slit open and the marked $20 bills removed. Agents confronted Hart and the marked $20 bills were located in his pocket.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Rogers.


Contact: 401-709-5357

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