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Press Release

Former Postal Employee Sentenced for 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, was sentenced today to time served (about 6 months in jail), to be followed by 2 years of supervised release, for 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 had been in custody since that time.

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

Updated April 17, 2020