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Justice News

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

Friday, August 12, 2016

Jury Finds Tampa Man Guilty For Role In Theft Of More Than $569,000 Of Social Security Benefit Checks

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Darius Vashon Tolbert (38, Tampa) guilty of receipt of stolen government property and possession of stolen mail.  He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to evidence presented at trial, Tolbert purchased approximately $569,000 of stolen Social Security benefit checks between April and July 2012.  The checks, belonging to more than 400 beneficiaries, were all destined for addresses in Pinellas County and had been stolen from the St. Petersburg Processing and Distribution Center by a postal mail handler.  They were part of a larger theft of more than $2 million in checks by the same mail handler. The checks that Tolbert purchased were later cashed at a money services business in Live Oak, Florida. The mail handler, Stacy Darnell Mitchell, was indicted in March 2016.      

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Department of the Treasury, and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Scruggs.

Financial Fraud
Updated August 12, 2016