Men drive around stealing checks from mail in Florida and deposit $62,000, feds say

A second man accused of raiding mailboxes in northeast Florida and stealing checks and money orders found inside has been arrested, federal prosecutors announced.

Two Jacksonville men drove around the city with others to steal “large volumes of mail” belonging to residents and businesses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. They’re also accused of doing the same in Fleming Island and St. Augustine.

They kept checks and money orders from the stolen mail, deposited the money in their bank accounts “and then used ATMs to immediately withdraw cash,” prosecutors said.

A money order worth nearly $500 and seven checks worth more than $60,000 were deposited into bank accounts by the two men as well as “others acting on their behalf” between October 2019 and February 2020, according to prosecutors and an indictment.

On Dec. 13, federal authorities arrested one of the two men named in the indictment, the attorney’s office said in an April 17 news release. The other man was arrested March 26, court records show.

They’re both charged with a conspiracy to commit bank fraud, eight counts of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit theft of mail, and theft of mail, according to prosecutors.

Attorneys separately appointed to represent the men didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from McClatchy News on April 18.

According to the indictment, the men are accused of altering the amounts of some money orders and checks before depositing the items into banks — allowing them to withdraw more cash.

Prosecutors didn’t specify how many pieces of mail were stolen by the men and others accused of being involved in the theft. Only the two men were identified in the release and indictment.

The men could both face up to 30 years in prison for the eight counts of bank fraud and the conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and up to five years for the other charges, prosecutors said.

If convicted, they could also be ordered to pay restitution to the people and businesses they stole from, prosecutors said.

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