A former East Flatbush United States Postal Service worker has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for postal theft after she stole $4 million in blank money orders, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced on Wednesday.
The former postal worker, 31-year-old Jaleesa Wallace, is also expected to pay up to $4 million in restitution. An alleged fellow conspirator, Willie Cook, pleaded guilty to the theft in March 2022 and is currently awaiting sentencing.
“The defendant exploited her position with one of our most trusted institutions, the United States Postal Service, for her own personal gain and caused significant losses to financial institutions,” said United States Attorney Breon Peace in Jan. 4 statement. “Residents of the district need to be confident that postal employees carry out their duties honestly and that important documents can travel safely in the mail.”
In February 2021, blank money orders were reported missing from the Utica Avenue post office in East Flatbush where Wallace was an employee. Investigators searched her home — where they found over 3,000 money orders each valued at up to $1,000. Over $4 million worth of the stolen money had already been cashed out in various financial institutions across the country.
In addition to the stolen money orders, investigators discovered $43,000 in cash, prepaid Department of Labor unemployment benefit cards, and 42 pieces of DOL mail not addressed to Wallace in her home.
Wallace was fired from the USPS in August 2021 and forfeited the cash that was seized in her residence to the United States Postal Inspection Service. Stolen money orders, cash, and credit cards were also uncovered in Cook’s home last summer.
“The Special Agents of the USPS-OIG will vigorously investigate Postal Service employees who compromise their integrity for personal gain,” said USPS-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Modafferi. The sentence imposed on the defendant will serve as a reminder that there are severe consequences when individuals utilize their Postal position to commit crimes.”