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Press Release

Dominican Citizen Pleads Guilty to Theft of Mail and Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire

          CONCORD, N.H. - Ariel Mendoza, 26, a citizen of Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty today to theft of mail and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, announced United States Attorney Scott W. Murray.

          According to court documents and statements made in court, from November 2017 to March 2018, several residents of Salem and Manchester, New Hampshire, as well as residents of Lawrence, Massachusetts reported to their local police departments that they had used public mailboxes to mail personal checks or money orders that never were received by the intended recipients.  On November 26, 2017, a video surveillance camera near a public mailbox in front of the U.S. Post Office in Salem captured images of Mendoza and another person as they stole items of from the mailbox.

          In addition, from November 2017 to May 2018, Mendoza and others deposited over $27,000 in stolen checks and money orders to accounts at banks and credit unions in New Hampshire.  After each deposit, Mendoza and the other conspirators obtained the proceeds of the stolen checks by withdrawing cash at ATMs and performing debit card transactions.

          Mendoza will be sentenced on March 29, 2019.  After he completes that sentence, Mendoza faces likely deportation to the Dominican Republic.

          “Crimes such as bank fraud cause financial damage to innocent victims and cannot be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “The theft of mail undermines public confidence in a critical governmental service and must be addressed by aggressive investigation and prosecution.  I want to thank the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Police Departments in Salem, Manchester, and Lawrence.  Their prompt response and thorough investigation of these serious crimes should deter other people from engaging in similar conduct.”

          “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service takes mail theft very seriously,” said Inspector in Charge Joseph W. Cronin of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Division.  “Our customers expect their personal information to be kept secure when mailing with the U.S. Postal Service.  Postal Inspectors, along with our local police departments who assisted in this investigation, worked hard to prevent more people from becoming further victimized by this scheme.  These types of crimes cause considerable financial damage and personal inconvenience.”

          The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Salem Police Department, the Manchester Police Department, and the Lawrence, Massachusetts Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Kinsella.



Updated December 13, 2018

Press Release Number: 18-247