Two New York Men Charged With Passing Altered Postal Money Orders
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that ANTOINE MERCHANT, age 32, and ANTHONY SMALLS, age 32, both of New York, New York, were charged today in a four-count indictment by the Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Louisiana with conspiracy to pass altered U.S. Postal money orders, passing altered U.S. Postal money orders and possessing stolen U.S. government property.
According to court records, MERCHANT and SMALLS travelled from New York to Louisiana in October of 2019 to cash stolen U.S. Postal money orders that had been altered to show amounts worth hundreds of dollars. MERCHANT and SMALLS cashed two such postal money orders, each with an altered face value of $850.00, in Kenner and Metairie, LA. When arrested, the defendants also possessed 58 U.S. Postal money orders that they had stolen from an Ascension Parish U.S. Post Office the day before.
MERCHANT and SMALLS face a sentence of up to ten years in prison on the possession charge and up to five years in prison for the Postal money order charges, up to $250,000 in fines, up to three years of supervised release and a special assessment of $100 for each count per each defendant.
U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Postal Inspection Service, along with assistance from the Louisiana State Police - Criminal Investigations Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, in investigating this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward J. Rivera is in charge of the prosecution.
* * *