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Postal workers guilty of stealing checks

Dec. 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM

ATLANTA, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Two more Georgia postal workers, including a supervisor, pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing $2.8 million in U.S. treasury checks, prosecutors said.

Gerald Easton, 47, a supervisor at a postal distribution center, and Deborah Fambro-Echol, 49, an employee, are two of five individuals federal prosecutors said routinely stole tax refunds, Social Security payments and other federal checks out of the mail and cashed them. Easton pleaded guilty Monday to seven counts, including conspiracy, theft of government money and possession of stolen treasury checks, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Fambro-Echols pleaded guilty Nov. 26 to conspiracy and theft of government money, the paper said.

The pair took the checks from the Atlanta postal distribution center where they worked and gave them to a network of check cashers who then distributed the checks to individuals to cash, splitting the profits among themselves, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said. Four others have pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme, Yates said.

Federal investigators used video surveillance to record Easton removing the checks from the distribution center. A search warrant served at his Stockbridge, Ga., home found hundreds of checks stolen over just the previous two weeks.

The pair are scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 27 and each count carries a sentence of between five and 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million.

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