Postal employee pleads guilty to skimming cash

SE Mass
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BOSTON (WPRI) — A month after he was indicted, a U.S. Postal Service employee in New Bedford has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $20,000 from his employer.

Austin Correia, 22, pleaded guilty to embezzlement and theft of public money, property or records, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling. He was indicted on charges at the end of June.

Correia started working for the post office in 2017 at two New Bedford locations. When he sold stamps or money orders to customers who paid with cash, he’d void out the transactions to make it appear as if they never happened, according to Lelling’s office.

The customer would get their product but the USPS would get nothing in return. Correia would either pocket the cash or buy gift cards sold by the post office for his own personal use, totaling $20,584.

Correia is scheduled to be sentenced at federal court in Boston on Nov. 20.

The charges carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. However, since Correia signed a plea agreement with prosecutors, they’ll recommend he receive only two years probation with the first six months on home confinement, as well as 25 hours of community service and paying back all the money he stole.

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