Prosecutors: Mail carrier pleads guilty to stealing checks worth nearly $9 million in total value

Court documents revealed that the woman stole the checks along her west Charlotte mail route.
A mail carrier pleaded guilty Friday to charges relating to an extensive mail theft scheme.
A mail carrier pleaded guilty Friday to charges relating to an extensive mail theft scheme.(MGN)
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 1:14 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A woman and her husband pleaded guilty on Friday to federal charges for conspiring to commit an extensive mail theft scheme in Charlotte.

Kiara Padgett and her spouse, Dominique Dunlap, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of NC said. In addition to those charges, Dunlap also pleaded guilty to four counts of possession of stolen mail.

Padgett, who was employed by the U.S. Postal Service, used her position as a postal carrier to steal incoming and outgoing checks from businesses and individuals, court documents revealed.

Documents showed that Padgett sold the stolen checks, using Dunlap as an intermediary between her and other parties. One of those parties was Terrell Alexander Hager Jr. He, along with co-conspirators, deposited the stolen checks into bank accounts they controlled and made cash withdrawals before fraud could be detected.

Prosecutors found that throughout the course of the scheme, Hager Jr. and his co-conspirators deposited more than $66,000 in stolen checks and money orders. They also found that he posted more than 400 stolen checks for sale, totaling more than $7.3 million in total value.

The checks Hager Jr. posted for sale were believed to have been stolen from Padgett’s postal route. Court documents revealed that he had been receiving the checks from August 2021 to November 2022.

Officials said the total face value of checks stolen by Padgett was more than $8.8 million. Her route was in west Charlotte.

Padgett, Dunlap and Hager Jr. could each face a maximum prison term of 30 years and could be subject to a $1 million for the bank fraud conspiracy charge. Dunlap also faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the charges of possession of stolen mail.

Several agencies, including the United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General (USPS-OIG) and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, assisted with the case.

Related: Courts: Postal worker indicted for mail theft schemes

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