Crime and Punishment

Postal carrier arrested for stealing tax refund checks

Preet Bharara
Getty Images

A man has been arrested for trying to obtain over $1 million in tax refund checks from his U.S. Postal Service delivery route (USPS), the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office announced on Thursday. (Tweet this)

Oscar Lopez, 36, of Brooklyn, was arrested on Thursday morning and charged with one count of conspiring to steal government funds, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison, and one count of theft of government funds, which carries a maximum term of ten years in prison.

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"As alleged, Oscar Lopez used his position as a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier to steal over $1 million in taxpayer funds. The exemplary investigative work of the Postal Service Inspector General's Office, the Postal Inspection Service, and the IRS put an end to Lopez's alleged involvement in this scheme," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a press release.

From at least June 2010 to May 2012, Lopex delivered mail on an assigned route in the Bronx. According to the release, he obtained fraudulently-issued tax refund checks that had been mailed by the IRS to homes along his route. Lopez took those checks to his co-conspirators, who returned a portion of the value to him.

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