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March 11, 2009

GAS STATION EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING FUNDS FROM THE U.S.POSTAL SERVICE

ATTENDANT RAN FRAUDULENT GAS CHARGES ON USPS GAS CARD

(HOUSTON) – Javed Iqbal, 37, has pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud, three counts of access device fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Javed Iqbal worked as a clerk at the Susser Chevron Station located in the 14000 block of the Eastex Freeway in Humble, Texas. An indictment returned on Aug. 21, 2008, charged Iqbal with three counts of wire fraud, three counts of access device fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft which arose from an investigation relating to fraudulent charges made to the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Voyager card, a credit card used for service and gasoline purchases on postal vehicles. The Voyager card is a commercial fleet card program under the General Services Administration. Individual Voyager accounts are assigned to each postal vehicle, along with personal identification numbers (PIN) numbers corresponding to each employee.

Preliminary investigative efforts by the USPS-Office of Inspector General (OIG) revealed the Susser Chevron was responsible for submitting approximately 815 separate charges for payment by the USPS, representing approximately 12 percent of the total charges for the USPS Houston District. Included in this figure were 194 separate transactions manually entered into the system by the on-duty station attendant, representing 79 percent of all manually entered transactions in the entire Houston district. Through further investigation, agents determined that for many of these transactions, the PIN numbers corresponded to employees who were either in a leave status or otherwise not scheduled for duty. 

Agents determined Iqbal was the on-duty attendant at the time the fraudulent transactions were processed. At the time of his arrest in July 2008, Iqbal had reportedly worked at the station for approximately three years. On the evening of July 23, 2008, agents executed a search warrant at the station and recovered a list compiled by Iqbal from his pocket which noted 44 Voyager card numbers and 50 PIN numbers associated with the fraudulent charges. Total Susser Chevron transactions identified to date account for approximately $134,855.30 in gas charges to the USPS for the time period between Jan. 1, 2006, and June 15, 2008, most, if not all of which, were fraudulent. Iqbal was also found to be in possession of a stolen firearm.  

Iqbal remains in federal custody. An immigration detainer has also been lodged against Iqbal as he is a citizen of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and subject to deportation.

United States District Judge Nancy F. Atlas, who accepted Iqbal’s guilty plea in open court today, has set sentencing for May 28, 2009. Iqbal faces a maximum penalty of 20 years on each of the wire fraud count convictions, 10 years on each of the access device fraud count convictions, plus two additional mandatory two-year consecutive sentences for each of the two aggravated identity theft count convictions.

The investigation leading to Javed Iqbal’s indictment and arrest was conducted by Special Agents with USPS-OIG. This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Tammie Y. Moore.

 

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