On Wednesday, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced that a U.S. Postal Service worker and three others had been charged in connection with fraud involving stolen blank money orders. 39-year-old Marc Saunders of Sicklerville, New Jersey is accused of stealing a money order imprinting machine and at least 180 blank money orders from USPS. He allegedly defrauded the USPS by presenting and providing the money orders to others, despite knowing they were unlawfully issued.

38-year-old Anthony J. Bell and 39-year-old Andre M. Sutton both from Philadelphia were charged along with 35-year-old Eugene J. Bowen of Knoxville, Tennessee. The trio has been charged with defrauding the USPS by presenting the money orders and providing them to others, despite knowing they were issued unlawfully. Sutton, Bell and Saunders were arrested on Wednesday and are scheduled to appear in a Camden federal court later today. At this point in time, Eugene J. Bowen of Knoxville is still at large.

The complaints detail the alleged crimes. Saunders worked with the New Lisbon, New Jersey USPS branch in 2014. In late 2016, law enforcement was notified that a money order imprinting machine and at least 180 blank money orders were missing. Since 2015, some of the stolen money orders were printed with varying dollar amounts and cashed at several different USPS branches in Philadelphia. By the end of 2016, approximately 130 of the stolen money orders had been cashed.

During the agency’s investigation, authorities discovered links between those cashing the money orders and Bell, Bowen and Sutton, who acted as middlemen. Links between the middlemen and Saunders were also established. Saunders was eventually connected to the middlemen through social media posts, telephone records and other evidence. Some of the stolen money orders were eventually cashed in the Knoxville area.

This coincided with Bowen visiting Saunders in New Jersey and promptly returning to Tennessee. A single count of defrauding the USPS carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. Stealing a money order imprinting machine and blank postal money orders comes with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

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