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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 16, 2016

Holland Resident, Zachary Stephen Thomas, Arrested For Stealing Mail

Zachary Stephen Thomas Stole Checks and Financial Information from Lakeshore Residents

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Zachary Stephen Thomas, age 32, from Holland, Michigan, was arrested this weekend and appeared today on a criminal complaint charging him with theft and/or unlawful possession of United States mail, and bank fraud. He faces a potential prison sentence of up to 5 years on the mail theft charges and up to 30 years on the bank fraud charges.

          "The integrity of the United States mail is of great importance to my office," said U.S. Attorney Pat Miles, Jr. "Theft of the mail, especially theft of financial documents and personal information, can have devastating consequences for the residents of this district. Those who choose to engage in this conduct will be held fully accountable for their actions."

          According to an affidavit unsealed in federal court today, Thomas began stealing and unlawfully possessing the mail of residents of Holland, especially the lakeshore community, in December 2015. Thomas routinely stole bank account checks and credit card convenience checks mailed to Holland area residents. Thomas then forged the checks, deposited them into his own bank account, and withdrew large amounts of cash from his bank’s automated teller machine before the bank discovered that the checks were fraudulent. Local law enforcement conducted two searches of Thomas’s apartment and recovered a significant amount of mail addressed to other individuals.

         Thomas is presently in the custody of the United States Marshal. His preliminary and bond hearings will occur on Thursday, May 19, 2016, in United States District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The case is being investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald M. Stella.

         The charges in a criminal complaint and supporting affidavit are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

END

Updated May 17, 2016