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Press Release

Two Accused of Stealing Mail from St. Louis County Collection Boxes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – Two men appeared in U.S. District Court in St. Louis Wednesday to answer an indictment accusing them of stealing mail from collection boxes in St. Louis County, Missouri and using those checks to commit bank fraud. 

Dareon Graham, 22, of Ferguson, and Tyrell Hardin, 20, of Hanley Hills, pleaded not guilty Wednesday. Hardin is facing one conspiracy count and eight counts of mail theft. Graham was indicted on one conspiracy count, 13 counts of bank fraud, four counts of possession of stolen mail and four counts of aggravated identity theft.

The April 26 indictment says Graham used a stolen key to open mail collection boxes and steal mail and paid money to Hardin to do the same. The pair would then open the mail and remove personal and business checks, the indictment says. 

Graham then recruited others to provide their banking information so he could alter the checks and deposit them into the accounts, the indictment says. Each check was written for thousands of dollars. Graham would then withdraw cash at ATMs before the banks realized the checks were fraudulent, the indictment says.

The conspiracy, mail theft and stolen mail charges carry a penalty of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. The bank fraud charges are punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both. Each aggravated identity theft charge carries a two-year prison term, consecutive to any other charge.

Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Clow is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 24, 2023

Financial Fraud