Report: Postal Employees Put Gov't Credit Cards to Personal Use

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 06:23 PM

By Jason Devaney

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Several United States Postal Service employees have used their government credit cards for personal purchases, including gambling, auto repairs, and other charges, according to a report.

The Washington Examiner obtained reports about numerous cases of credit card misuse and detailed the findings in a story Thursday.

In one case, a manager withdrew $32,000 in cash from her government card for gambling purposes. The Examiner says the woman told government investigators she took out the money when her personal cards were maxed out on their credit limits.

The same employee, according to the report, used her government card to pay for rental cars, gas, parking, and tolls — all for personal use — and allegedly took an automatic toll transponder from a USPS vehicle.

All told, the employee spent $45,000 of the government's money. She apparently repaid the USPS by February 2010. The manager's administrative assistant told investigators her boss spent a lot of time out of the office and was hard to reach.

The employee in question was out sick the day postal investigators went to her office to ask her about the charges. She then retired from her job and paid back the government.

In another instance, a postal employee withdrew $2,400 for gambling. She lied to investigators at first, saying her use of the card was an accident, but eventually came clean and admitted to the theft. She has since paid back the USPS and was fired late last year.

And in yet another example, an employee in charge of a postal office in North Carolina gave herself $8,500 in travel and salary advances one month. She was allegedly waiting to be reimbursed for some travel expenses and needed the money to repair her truck. The woman left the USPS last year.

In other cases, according to the Examiner, employees used their government credit cards for personal cash advances. One of those employees also "accidentally" gave his card to his son so he could go bowling.

One postmaster in North Carolina put in for $9,400 in mileage after claiming she visited 96 offices throughout the state for service reviews. There were no records for the reviews, and she was eventually ordered to pay $5,000 and demoted to a customer service supervisor.

Postal workers stealing from the government is nothing new. One employee in Alabama allegedly stole $27,291 in money orders, according to AL.com. She plead guilty to theft charges in February and will be sentenced in July.

A seasonal worker in Oregon was arrested in December after getting caught with hundreds of pieces of mail in his personal vehicle and at his house, according to the Albany Democrat-Herald.

A 2011 Washington Post story detailed how dozens of postal workers had been caught in recent years stealing and/or burning mail, stealing money, and filing fraudulent workers' compensation claims.

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