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BOSTON – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee has been indicted in connection with allegedly embezzling over $96,000 and for fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits.
Jamesa Rankins, 26, of Brockton, was indicted on one count of theft of government money and three counts of wire fraud. Rankins will appear in federal court in Boston at 3 p.m. today.
According to the indictment, Rankins began working for USPS around 2016, most recently as a Sales & Service Distribution Associate at the Montello Post Office in Brockton. In this role, Rankins had the ability to generate postal money orders, including replacement money orders. During the relevant period, customers could obtain replacement money orders without paying any additional fees if the original money orders were lost, damaged or erroneous. It is alleged that Rankins issued over $96,000 worth of replacement money orders to another individual where the original money orders were not erroneous and had not been lost or stolen, which caused the USPS to incur losses of $96,000. On at least one occasion, it is alleged that Rankins personally negotiated one of the replacement money orders at a check cashing business.
It is also alleged that Rankins applied for and obtained unemployment assistance from the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance despite being employed by USPS and thus being ineligible to receive unemployment assistance.
The charge of theft of government money provides a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Matthew Modafferi, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Office; and Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Region of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Criminal Investigations – Labor Racketeering and Fraud made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Panich of Rollins’ Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.