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Press Release

Rochester Man Arrested, Charged With Sealing And Cashing Checks From Residential Mailboxes

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

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dennis Morgan, 59, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with bank fraud and mail theft. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, between July 2018 and the present, multiple complaints of mail theft were reported to law enforcement agencies in the Rochester, NY area, including the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Rochester, Irondequoit, Gates, Brighton, and East Rochester Police Departments. Many complaints involved personal checks being cashed or attempting to do be cashed, that had been placed into residential mailboxes as outgoing mail to be collected by the U.S. Postal Service. The checks had been altered by changing payees and amounts, and were then presented for payment at banks in the area. Approximately $19,127.00 of stolen and fraudulently altered checks have been identified to date.

Specifically, on January 23, 2019, the Irondequoit Police Department received a complaint from a resident (who recently had a check stolen from his mailbox) who observed a white vehicle suspiciously pulled up by his mailbox. The resident confronted the driver of the vehicle, who replied that he was looking for a “temp agency.” As the driver drove away, the resident noted the driver’s New York State license plate number. Between late February and early March 2019, at least five additional incidents were reported involving the reported theft of mail, each involving a white vehicle.

On April 9, 2019, the Brighton Police Department received a report from a resident who stated that he saw someone take mail from his neighbor's mailbox. The resident noted the license plate and took a picture of the vehicle as it drove away. The license plate was the same plate reported in the January 23, 2019 incident.

Subsequent investigation determined that the vehicle belongs to a woman identified as the girlfriend of Dennis Morgan. Investigators also learned that Morgan was arrested or suspected in at least four other incidents involving stolen mail and forged checks.

On March 14, 2019, the Irondequoit Police Department executed a search warrant the girlfriend’s vehicle, at which time a GPS tracker was deployed on the vehicle.

Between March 20 and March 30, 2019, the Irondequoit Police Department received three complaints from residents who placed envelopes containing checks in their mailboxes for pickup by the United States Postal Service. All three checks were stolen out of the mailboxes. A check of the GPS tracker showed the girlfriend’s vehicle at each of the three residences on the same day the check was placed in the mailbox.

On March 28, 2019, the girlfriend transferred her license plate to a different vehicle. On April 17, 2019 the Irondequoit Police Department executed a search warrant on the new vehicle, and deployed another GPS tracker.

On May 31, 2019, a resident filed a complaint with the Irondequoit Police Department indicating that on May 28, 2019, he placed five envelopes containing checks inside his residential mailbox. The next day, one of the checks was cashed at a local financial institution with both the payee and amount payable altered. A check of the GPS tracker again showed that the girlfriend’s vehicle was in the vicinity of both the residence, and the financial institution, on both May 28 and May 29, 2019.

Between March 14 and June 4, 2019, investigators conducted surveillance of Dennis Morgan. During surveillance, the defendant was observed driving both vehicles registered to his girlfriend. On June 3, 2019, an investigator witnessed Morgan remove mail from a mailbox in Irondequoit, and place it inside of his coat pocket.

“The tremendous work done by our partners in local law enforcement in Irondequoit, Rochester, Brighton, and East Rochester really made this case,” noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “I commend each of those local Departments for their outstanding investigative efforts and for the assistance they provided in helping to ensure that the sanctity of the United States mail is preserved.”

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and was released on conditions, including home detention.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Irondequoit Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard V. Tantalo; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief LaRon Singletary; the Brighton Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark T. Henderson; the East Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Steve Clancy; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Boston Division Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Updated June 19, 2019

Financial Fraud