News and Press Releases

FORMER FRIDAY HARBOR POSTMASTER SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR MISAPPROPRIATING $129,000 IN POSTAL FUNDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2005

CARMEN L. DIXON, (47) of Friday Harbor, Washington was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle today to one year and one day in prison and three years of supervised release for Misappropriation of Postal Funds. According to the plea agreement, DIXON, the former Postmaster of Friday Harbor, admits that from sometime before January 2002 and May 2004 she issued $58,000 in money orders to herself and her family from bulk mailing fees, and converted $71,000 from the sale of stamps to her own use. The total loss amount to the postal service is $129,000. DIXON has paid back about half the money she stole and Judge John C. Coughenour ordered her to pay the remaining $65,720. Judge Coughenour cited DIXON's breach of public trust, and the significant amount of money involved, in sentencing her to the prison term.

DIXON was placed on leave from the Postal Service last Spring when the investigation began. The misappropriation first came to light during an internal review. DIXON worked for the Postal Service for 27 years. Her employment was terminated in September 2004. At sentencing, DIXON's attorney, Anthony Savage, asked that, instead of restitution, her unused sick leave be cashed in as payment for the monies owed. Judge Coughenour agreed to recommend that the monetary value, if any, associated with accrued sick leave and vacation time offset the amount of restitution due.

In sentencing DIXON, Judge Coughenour noted that he saw no need to increase her pain over her mistakes, saying "I see a lot of nice people who do dumb things."

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patricia C. Lally.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206)553-4110.

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