A postal worker in Cleveland, Ohio and her roommate allegedly stole $47,000 worth of gift cards from the mail she processed. The two have been indicted for conspiracy after they were caught in their elaborate scheme.
According to the Department of Justice, Jennifer Riccardi was working in the main mail processing center in Cleveland. This position gave her the position and opportunity she needed to steal a massive number of gift cards. She allegedly stole any piece of mail that she believed contained gift cards, including greeting cards and letters.
Riccardi wasn’t alone in this substantial case of theft. She lived with a man named Joseph Dennis, who allegedly assisted her in the theft. According to officials, Riccardi would hide the stolen pieces of mail in her lunch box and bring them back to their shared residence during her mid-shift break or once her shift was over.
Although people who send flowers are viewed as successful, caring and emotionally intelligent people, gift cards are one of the most common holiday presents in the United States. Unsuspecting victims might not miss a piece of direct advertising mail other than its assistance to help make a purchasing decision, which 92% of shoppers say they prefer direct mail for, they would certainly miss the cards from stores like Amazon, Kohl’s, and Starbucks that Riccardi allegedly took. She and Dennis are accused of not only stealing cards from major stores like these, but also of selling at least 41 of the stolen cards.
The theft operation reportedly took place for an entire year, between December 2016 and Dec. 11, 2017. According to a press release from the Department of Justice, authorities found at least 108 pieces of stolen of mail, an automatic currency counter, and $42,000 in cash when they went to their residence on Dec. 11, 2017.
At that time, authorities also found over 1,500 gift cards from more than 200 vendors at the home of Riccardi and Dennis. Out of that number of gift cards, about 1,322 had face values that totaled about $47,000. Riccardi is accused of stealing over 100 apparent greeting cards in one night alone.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Riccardi and Dennis were both indicted on charges that include conspiracy to commit theft of mail, possession of stolen mail, and conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Riccardi faced an additional charge of theft of mail by a postal employee.
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