Piney Flats Man Sentenced To Serve 14 Months In Prison For Counterfeit Postage Scheme
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On July 21, 2014, Jason Matthew Smalling, 34, of Piney Flats, Tenn., was sentenced by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 14 months in federal prison.
Upon his release from prison, Smalling was ordered to serve three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $330,000 in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service and pay a fine of $5,000.
Smalling pleaded guilty in October 2013 to an information charging him with devising a scheme to defraud the U.S. Postal Service through the creation of counterfeit postage mailing labels. Smalling operated a business from his residence in Piney Flats, Tenn., called Value Decals. Value Decals created and sold vinyl decals, some being generic graphics and images and others being unlicensed reproductions of trademarked logos of professional sports teams including Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball League, and National Hockey League teams. Value Decals obtained orders for vinyl decals through its website, valuedecals.com, as well as Amazon.com. In addition to paying for the decals, customers were also charged for the costs of shipping the orders through the U.S. Mail. The orders were shipped to the customers by U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail.
Beginning in approximately August 2011, Smalling created counterfeit postage labeling for parcels being mailed by Value Decals. Using computer software, he reproduced information-based indicia from postage obtained through Stamps.com, manipulating the addressee information but using the same bar-coded information from the original postage. This allowed him to mail the packages without paying for postage.
In addition to using the counterfeit postage to mail the parcels to Value Decal’s customers, Smalling continued to collect money from his customers for the costs of mailing as well as reproducing unlicensed trademarked team logos. As a result of the scheme, he defrauded both the U.S. Postal Service for payments of postage and customers of Value Decals for payments for postage.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Smith represented the United States.