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Press Release

Charlotte Man Pleads Guilty To Committing Bank Fraud Using Stolen Mail

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Douglas Gumbs, 38, of Charlotte, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler today and pleaded guilty to committing bank fraud using stolen mail, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which oversees Charlotte, join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed documents and court proceedings, from February 2022 to April 2023, Gumbs and Soheil Akhavan Rezaie, targeted neighborhoods in Charlotte and surrounding areas and stole large quantities of mail from residential mailboxes. The stolen mail included credit cards, tax forms, financial statements, personal identifying information (PII), and personal and business bank checks. Gumbs used the stolen mail to commit bank fraud by altering the amounts of the stolen checks or changing the names of the payees to his own and then depositing the altered checks into bank accounts he controlled. Gumbs then withdrew the funds before the victims and financial institutions had an opportunity to determine the checks were stolen. Gumbs also admitted to using fraudulent identification to execute the fraud. Over the course of the investigation, Gumbs was found to be in possession of more than 850 pieces of stolen mail that belonged to at least 10 victims.

Gumbs pleaded guilty to bank fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of 30 years and a $1 million fine. Gumbs is currently in custody. A sentencing date has not been set. Rezaie was previously convicted for related conduct and was sentenced to 57 months in prison.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI and USPIS for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn Finley, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, is in charge of the prosecution.

Each year, the U.S. Postal Service® handles billions of letters and packages, the majority of which arrive safely at their intended destinations. According to USPIS, here are the extra steps the public can take to prevent mail theft and ensure that mail arrives safely at its destination:

  • Promptly pick up mail – try not to leave letters and packages in the mailbox or at the door unattended for any length of time.
  • Deposit mail close to pick up time – deposit outgoing mail into collection boxes before the last collection or inside the local postal office.
  • Inquire about overdue mail – if you have not received valuable or important mail you’re expecting, contact the sender to inquire about it.
  • Do not send cash – be careful about what you are sending in the mail. Avoid mailing cash and gift cards.
  • Arrange for prompt pick up – if you will not be available to receive a package in person, contact the postal service to hold your package.
  • Use the Hold for Pick Up option – when shipping packages, use the Hold for Pick Up option, so the recipients can pick up package at their local post office.
  • Request signature confirmation – when mailing important mail, consider requesting a signature confirmation from the recipient.
  • File a change of address – when moving, promptly file a change of address with the Postal Service.

To report suspected mail theft, please call USPIS at 1-877-876-2455.

Updated February 22, 2024

Financial Fraud