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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Brandon Man Sentenced For Stealing Checks And Money Orders From U.S. Postal Mailboxes

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Carlos Sarabasa Cobas (30, Brandon) to three years and five months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The Court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $123,225.80, and a restitution order requiring Cobas to pay $46,232.45 to the victims of his crime. He pleaded guilty on November 17, 2016.


According to court documents, Cobas engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States and financial institutions by negotiating money orders and checks that he had stolen from various U.S. Postal Service mail collection boxes in several Florida counties, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, and Sarasota. Cobas used “fishing” devices constructed of duct tape, string, and metal objects to burglarize the mailboxes. He then discarded the unwanted mail and kept the money orders and checks that he then washed or altered before depositing, or distributing them to be deposited by others, into bank accounts held by the conspirators at several financial institutions.


This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Megan Kistler and Daniel George.

Financial Fraud
Updated February 16, 2017