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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Customs Officer Sentenced to 37 Months in Prison for Stealing Checks and Money Orders from International Mail Facility in Torrance

          LOS ANGELES – A longtime U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer was sentenced on Monday to over three years in federal prison for stealing checks and money orders from international mail and depositing those items into bank accounts.

          Carlos Canjura, 54, of Van Nuys, was sentenced on Monday to 37 months in prison by United States District Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell. In addition to the prison term, Judge O’Connell ordered Canjura to pay $20,145 in restitution.

          A federal jury in November found Canjura guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, four counts of bank fraud and four counts of possession of stolen mail.

          Canjura was a CBP Officer assigned to the International Mail Facility in Torrance, where his duties included inspecting mail and parcels arriving from other countries for narcotics, counterfeit goods, and possible fraudulent checks and negotiable instruments. The evidence presented during the three-day trial showed that Canjura used his position to steal personal checks, traveler's checks and money orders from international mail.

          Over the course of a year, Canjura stole more than 108 checks and money orders with a cumulative value of $249,212. He worked with co-conspirators to deposit those stolen checks and money orders, often fraudulently altering the checks before depositing them through ATMs or mobile phone applications.

          “This sentence sends a strong message to those in positions of public trust that corruption will not be tolerated,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This defendant abused his position as a federal officer to personally enrich himself and undermined the public’s confidence in government services, including the United States Postal Service.”

          “Mr. Canjura’s actions earned him a significant jail sentence for using his position to steal from Postal Service customers,” said Deirdre Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The FBI and our partners will continue to pursue evidence of corruption and hold public officials accountable for their crimes.”

          Mr. Canjura has been indefinitely suspended without pay from CBP.

          The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Professional Responsibility, CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, and the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.

          The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bryant Yang of the General Crimes Section and Assistant United States Attorney Ashwin Janakiram of the Major Frauds Section.

17-049
Updated March 9, 2017