A former U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee today admitted stealing credit cards sent through the mail as part of a conspiracy to commit access device fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Honig, Kyle Williams, 36, of Vauxhall, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Williams was employed by the USPS. From July 2019 to August 2020, Williams stole from the mail credit cards issued by financial institutions outside of New Jersey and provided those credit cards to his conspirators, who fraudulently activated them and used them to make and attempt to make purchases without the cardholders’ authorization, including buying gift cards and electronics.
The investigation to date has revealed that the victims have incurred more than approximately $100,000 in intended and actual losses from fraudulent purchases made using their stolen credit cards.
In addition to stealing and illegally using credit cards, Williams and his conspirators also schemed to fraudulently use over $11,000 of funds pre-loaded onto Economic Impact Payment (EIP) cards issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury and sent in the U.S. mail pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), that were stolen from the mail.
The CARES Act authorized EIP payments structured as one-time refundable tax credits to certain eligible taxpayers of $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples filing jointly, and up to $500 for each qualifying child.
The goal of the EIP card fraud was for the conspirators to unlawfully obtain the government funds pre-loaded onto these cards, in amounts ranging from approximately $400 to approximately $2,400.
The conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 90 months in prison in prison and a maximum fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2022.
Williams was charged with Jarid Brooks, 27, Justin Brooks, 21, and Kyjuan Hutchins, 22, also of Vauxhall, in October 2020.
Jarid Brooks and Justin Brooks were charged in an indictment with conspiracy to receive stolen mail, commit bank fraud, and defraud the USPS and the U.S. Department of Treasury, theft of stolen mail, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, possession with intent to distribute narcotics (Jarid Brooks only), and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number (Justin Brooks only).
The indictment is pending. Hutchins has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit access device fraud and is awaiting sentencing.