Three United States Postal Service (USPS) workers from New York City were accused of stealing credit cards as part of a $750,000 identity theft ring. Prosecutors claimed the workers stole more than a thousand credit cards from the mail they were tasked with delivering. The stolen credit cards were allegedly used to fund shopping sprees at luxury retailers.
The postal workers and other defendants were indicted in Manhattan Supreme Court. They were charged with identity theft, grand larceny, conspiracy and criminal possession of stolen property.
Ringleader Michael Richards, 37, allegedly instructed the USPS workers to steal credit cards from their postal routes in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The cards were used to make around $750,000 in purchases at high-end stores like Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Bloomingdale’s.
The items were either resold for cash or returned in exchange for store credit, which was then sold for money. The scheme ran from January 2017 to August 2019.
Prosecutors said Richards paid the postal workers varying amounts based on how well the stolen cards performed. He allegedly had the credit cards activated with the help of a 33-year-old suspect who used online databases to obtain cardholders’ personal identifying information.
The authorities were alerted to the scheme in early 2019 when a credit card company noticed that many cardholders were not receiving their cards. The company then informed USPS about the issue.
New York law enforcement devotes a lot of expertise and resources to combatting identity theft. When a credit card theft ring is busted, it typically involves multiple suspects who are each accused of playing a role in furthering the scheme.
If you have been arrested for credit card fraud or identity theft, Brill Legal Group has your back. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys know the tactics prosecutors use to secure a conviction. We will do everything we can to protect your freedom. Contact us right away for a free initial consultation.