Jury Convicts Former Lafayette Postal Service Employee for Stealing Gift Cards from U.S. Mail
LAFAYETTE, La. –United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that, after a three-day trial, a federal jury found a Lafayette woman guilty of taking gift cards from U.S. mail.
After deliberating for a little over an hour, a federal jury found Crystal S. Boutte, 41, of Lafayette, guilty on two counts of theft of mail. United States District Judge Richard T. Haik presided over the trial that ended on Wednesday. In December of 2012, Boutte stole four Wal-Mart gift cards from the mail while working for the U.S. Postal Service. One gift card was worth $200, and the other three were worth $25 each. The theft was discovered after the recipients of the mail reported the cards missing.
“Ms. Boutte was a postal employee who took advantage of and abused her position,” Finley stated. “Private citizens should not have to worry about their mail being stolen by those entrusted to deliver it.”
“The American public expects to receive their letters and parcels on time and intact,” said Maximo Eamiguel, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge, Southern Area Field Office. “Citizens have an expectation that their mail will not be stolen, rifled, read or obstructed while in the possession of Postal Service employees. That expectation and trust extends to every one of the millions of mail pieces that travel across the country daily. Anyone who betrays that trust will be thoroughly investigated by OIG special agents. The Postal Service has a long and proud tradition of protecting the ‘sanctity of the seal’ of First-Class Mail. The overwhelming majority of postal employees perpetuate this tradition every day in their efforts to move the nation’s mail to its proper destination. Unfortunately, when a few postal employees abuse the public trust placed in them, it is the job of OIG special agents to identify them and work in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to ensure they are prosecuted in the criminal courts.”
Boutte faces five years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution, and a $250,000 fine for each count. The U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard C. Parker prosecuted the case.