Former Postal Service Mail Carrier Charged with Bank Fraud and Identity Theft for Allegedly Stolen Unemployment Benefits Debit Cards on Her Postal Route | USAO-CDCA

LOS ANGELES – A former United States Postal Service mail carrier was indicted today by a federal grand jury for her role in a scheme that allegedly defrauded banks of more than $200,000 through the theft of debit cards containing credit card benefits. insurance from his postal route and giving them to a plotter in exchange for cash payments and gifts.

Toya Toshell Hunter, 44, of South Los Angeles, was charged in a 20-count superseding indictment released today along with lead defendant Michalea Latise Barksdale, aka ‘Miichii Bee’, 33, of Corona, who a federal grand jury previously indicted in December. 2021.

Hunter and Barksdale are charged with 12 counts of bank fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of debit card fraud over $1,000. Hunter is also charged with three counts of misappropriation of mail by a postal worker. Barksdale is facing one count of unlawful possession of 15 or more access devices (including debit cards and social security numbers) and one count of possession of stolen mail.

The defendants are expected to appear in US District Court for arraignment in the coming weeks.

According to the indictment, as part of a scheme that lasted from December 2014 to May 2020, Hunter used her position as a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service to steal Bank of America debit cards sent by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) to unemployed workers. people. She then allegedly provided Barksdale with the stolen debit cards in exchange for future payments and gifts.

Using stolen EDD debit cards and the last four digits of EDD cardholders’ social security numbers, Barksdale allegedly called the Visa Voice Response Unit to activate EDD debit cards and create personal identification numbers ( PINE). Once the cards were activated, Barksdale used the stolen debit cards and fraudulently obtained PIN codes to make unauthorized cash withdrawals from ATMs in Corona, Compton, and Fullerton, and purchases from stores in Southern California.

Aiding and abetting each other, Hunter and Barksdale made fraudulent and unauthorized cash withdrawals and purchases on at least 193 separate EDD cards and in the process stole from Bank of America at least $215,641 which they did not were not entitled, according to the indictment.

An indictment contains allegations that an accused has committed a crime. Any defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty and unless proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, Hunter and Barksdale would face maximum statutory sentences of 30 years in federal prison for each bank fraud count and 15 years in federal prison for the debit card fraud count. exceeding $1,000 in losses, plus a mandatory two-year prison sentence for an aggravated misdemeanor. identity theft. Hunter would face up to five years in federal prison for each count of mail embezzlement by a postal worker. Barksdale would face up to five years in federal prison for possession of stolen mail.

The United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, and the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration are investigating this matter.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Kyle W. Kahan of the General Crimes Section is prosecuting the case.

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