Atlanta postal workers stole millions in government checks

Friday, March 1, 2013 7:27 AM
Last updated 7:06 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

ATLANTA — Authorities say two former postal workers have pleaded guilty to charges of stealing more than $3.5 million in federal tax refund and government benefit checks.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the workers were accused of taking the checks from an Atlanta mail distribution facility.

Prosecutors said Gerald Eason of Stockbridge and Deborah Fambro-Echols of Hapeville stole thousands of U.S. Treasury checks while working at the U.S. Postal Service’s Atlanta Processing and Distribution Center.

Eason worked as a supervisor, and Fambro-Echols worked as a mail handler.

Eason was sentenced to 7 years, 3 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and fined $15,000.

Fambro-Echols was sentenced to 6 years, 6 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and fined $12,500.

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soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 03/01/13 - 08:39 am
1
0
$3.5 million and no restitution, crime does pay
Unpublished

Where is the money? Where would two hourly government employees hide $3.5 million? Who cashed the checks? Where is Paul Harvey when we need him? $270K per year for each is not a bad payday. Some say working at the USPS is like being in prison. And of course they retain their "golden government retirement packages".

Redistributing that wealth. Obama supporters. No thieves.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 03/01/13 - 08:51 am
1
0
Let's see
Unpublished

13 years, 9 months, $27,500= 3 and a half MILLION dollars. Sounds fair to me! By the way, I've got tickets for the next space shuttle flight. $25 apiece. Just leave your name and number at your local post office. We'll get them to you real soon. We need the $25 up front.

dichotomy
34354
Points
dichotomy 03/01/13 - 08:54 am
6
0
Oh yeh, that will show them.

Oh yeh, that will show them. It's not enough. Postal employees stealing from the mail is like a soldier selling classified information. It violates a sacred trust. They should have gotten at least 25 years just to remind the rest of them that it isn't worth it.

Riverman1
86854
Points
Riverman1 03/01/13 - 09:16 am
6
1
Reminds me of the story years

Reminds me of the story years ago of the postman who died and it was discovered he had tens of millions of dollars at his death. No one knew how he got the money. I have an idea.

seenitB4
90674
Points
seenitB4 03/01/13 - 09:22 am
3
0
What a shame

These workers need stiffer punishment......too many good hard working men & women will feel the pain of a few evil doers.......the majority of the workers are honest & worthy of respect......so sad to see so much evil in the world..
In the housing--banking etc....everything!

deestafford
28631
Points
deestafford 03/01/13 - 10:17 am
5
0
Punishment is way too light.

How can someone steal $3.5 million and only get that short of sentence. There is nothing said about returning any money or what was bought with it.

boodroe
1959
Points
boodroe 03/01/13 - 10:24 am
6
0
Not a bad haul

If I could steal 3.5 million and all I have to do is 7 years in jail and 15,000 dollar fine it might be worth it .

Red Headed Step Child
4184
Points
Red Headed Step Child 03/01/13 - 10:33 am
3
2
I wonder what they did with the money...

An how on EARTH did they cash the checks??

I have two words - DIRECT DEPOSIT. Maybe that could have eliminated some of this..

pelumaad
83
Points
pelumaad 03/01/13 - 10:45 am
2
2
Mail theft...

I have an idea.....Let's privatize mail service and pay the workers minimum wage... who cares if they steal "entitlement" checks anyway?

Riverman1
86854
Points
Riverman1 03/01/13 - 10:52 am
3
0
About Direct Deposit

Many seniors depend on their social security checks and don't want direct deposit. Banks can charge all type of fees for someone who spends ten bucks here and there. Think of a poor social security recipient who lives on $1200 a month having to pay fees for checking and ATM withdrawals like banks charge these days. That makes a major dent in his income.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 03/01/13 - 01:15 pm
3
0
AC, please investigate!

Augusta Chronicle, please investigate this further! How is it that we the taxpayers aren't getting backing every dollar stolen even if it takes the guilty parties their entire lifetimes to repay it?

Red Headed Step Child
4184
Points
Red Headed Step Child 03/01/13 - 04:24 pm
4
0
Direct Deposit

Hey River, I can understand part of your argument - there is a choice to have direct deposit - but it won't be long before everything - particularly government issued payments - will all be done electronically. It's coming, whether we like it or not. Anymore, employers are moving to direct deposit because it's cheaper for them to provide vs. paper checks.

As far as bank fees - there are still banks and credit unions out there that don't charge their customers to have an account, charge for activity, ATM fees, etc. I know my bank doesn't. Like any service, you have to shop around.

Of the two methods - direct deposit vs. a mailed paper check - I'll take direct deposit any day. That way it lands in MY hands, not in the hands of crooks like this...

Riverman1
86854
Points
Riverman1 03/01/13 - 05:40 pm
3
0
RedHead, yeah, I get that.

RedHead, yeah, I get that. Personally, I've used direct deposit, electronic payments and credit cards for decades, but I read an article about small towns where the people rely on their checks and it got me thinking. The local postman in that town had campaigned to keep paper checks using the description I gave of what happens to the elderly little people who depend on cash money and live month to month on their money. You say these people won't be charged at certain banks, but every bank I know of charges fees for small checking accounts and ATM fees. Plus, many of these people don't have internet access to their accounts. Many of them only deal in cash and live in the country. The nearest ATM for some of them was 50 miles round trip.

I challenge you to list one bank that does not charge checking or ATM fees for a person who would keep a small checking account that he runs almost empty every month and has to use an ATM or write checks often.

boodroe
1959
Points
boodroe 03/01/13 - 07:09 pm
3
0
Credit unions

Do Credit unions charge the fees a bank does for having less than a min amount in the account if not a credit union would be ideal for senior citizens

allhans
24005
Points
allhans 03/01/13 - 08:26 pm
3
0
ATM (debit cards) cards are

ATM (debit cards) cards are now being issued. Works like an EBT card. You hold onto your card and it gets updated electronically when the next check is due....My neighbor loves getting hers in that form.
She usually withdraws about half for bills....

Red Headed Step Child
4184
Points
Red Headed Step Child 03/05/13 - 09:43 am
0
0
Banks

First Citizens (the bank I use), First Bank of GA and Georgia Bank & Trust are a few that have a free checking account (no minimim balance requirement, no limit to transactions, free ATM useage, no fee for a debit card, etc).

You know, most banks require you to have an account there to cash checks, even government checks, so I would imagine the folks without accounts are having to pay a fee somewhere to cash those checks..not to mention it can't be safe for these folks to be keeping that much cash on them or at the house. But hey! To each his own...

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