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Mail carrier allegedly stole $1 million in tax refunds

A New York mail carrier is accused of participating in the theft of more than $1 million in tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service. The 36-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested on July 2 at a Bronx post office and charged with theft of government funds and conspiracy.

According to court filings, the defendant allegedly used the names of people who lived along his delivery route to obtain IRS refund checks. His delivery route was in ZIP code 10460, which includes the Bronx Zoo and the West Farms neighborhood. He also reportedly used the stolen Social Security numbers of some Puerto Rican residents, who aren't required to file federal tax returns if their income was earned on that island.

The complaint identifies three 2010 IRS refunds of $7,306, $8,190 and $8,755 that were issued to Puerto Rican residents and mailed to addresses along the defendant's postal route, where he is accused of nabbing them. According to authorities, he had the help of two co-conspirators who helped deposit the checks. In total, the trio allegedly stole more than $1 million in federal tax refunds. The defendant faces up to 10 years in prison for the theft charge and five years for the conspiracy charge.

New York residents charged with a white collar offense may benefit by immediately retaining a criminal defense attorney. Legal counsel could review the evidence for elements that could be used in the defendant's favor. In some cases, an attorney may recommend negotiating an arrangement with the prosecutor that dismisses the most serious charges in exchange for a guilty plea to a lesser offense.

Source: USA Today, "Mailman charged with stealing $1M in IRS refunds," Kevin McCoy, July 2, 2015

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