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Press Release

Former Postal Employee Pleads Guilty to Mail Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Stole Mailed Items Worth More Than $50,000

ALBANY, NEW YORK – John R. Elbayeh, aka Jean Elbayeh, age 44, of Albany, pled guilty today to stealing Apple iPhones, gold coins, small gold bars and other valuable items from mailed packages while employed as a postal clerk. 

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Matthew Modafferi, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Area for the United States Postal Service (USPS), Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Elbayeh worked as a lead mail processing clerk at the USPS Processing and Distribution Center in Albany, from December 2012 through December 2018.  He admitted that for approximately 2 years ending in December 2018, he stole valuable items from the mail, including iPhones and gold coins, which he pawned for a total of $50,362.22. 

Shortly after being interviewed by federal agents in December 2018, Elbayeh took a one-way flight to Beirut, Lebanon, and remained outside the United States until October 17, 2019.  On that date, USPS-OIG Agents arrested him at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, where Elbayeh had just arrived from a flight originating in Cairo, Egypt.  Elbayeh has been in custody since that time.

Elbayeh, who pled guilty to mail theft, faces up to 5 years in prison when United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino sentences him on April 17, 2020.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

This case was investigated by the USPS, Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.

Updated December 20, 2019