Essex County Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Bribing Mail Carriers to Steal Postal Arrow Keys
NEWARK, N.J. – A New York woman man today admitted her role in a scheme to bribe mail carriers to steal postal arrow keys in order to unlock mail receptacles and to use stolen items from the mail to obtain funds fraudulently from banks, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Halimatou Ndiaye, 27, of the Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging her with one count of bribery of U.S. Postal Service mail carriers and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Ndiaye schemed to bribe mail carriers in East Orange and Newark by offering them cash, typically $5,000, in exchange for the mail carriers giving her and another individual a postal arrow key, which could be used to access a variety of postal service mail receptacles. Ndiaye and others sought USPS arrow keys so that they could steal mail. For example, from June to July 2021, Ndiaye and the other individual drove to various locations in East Orange and Newark, where they stopped mail carriers and handed them a note indicating they would give $5,000 to the mail carrier in exchange for an arrow key.
In addition, from January 2021 to July 2021, Ndiaye conspired with others to obtain funds fraudulently from banks by using stolen checks and bank cards to draw funds from bank accounts linked to the stolen items and using the identification of others to fraudulently obtain funds.
The bribery charge to which Ndiaye pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Oct. 25, 2023.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Christopher A. Nielsen, Philadelphia Division, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jihee G. Suh of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.