Metro

USPS mail carriers allegedly stole credit cards as part of huge identity theft ring

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Four US Postal Service mail carriers — including three from New York City — are accused of stealing credit cards from the mail as part of a $750,000 identity theft ring, prosecutors said.

The postal workers and nine other suspects were indicted in Manhattan Supreme Court on conspiracy, grand larceny and a litany of other charges over the scheme that took place between January 2017 and August 2019, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Michael Richards, the alleged ringleader of the US Postal Service credit card theft scam, at his indictment in Manhattan Supreme Court on December 8, 2021.
Michael Richards, the alleged ringleader of the US Postal Service credit card theft scam, at his indictment in Manhattan Supreme Court on December 8, 2021.
Steven Hirsch

The federal employees, who were recruited by 37-year-old ringleader Michael Richards, of Manhattan, allegedly swiped over 1,000 credit cards that were then used by another defendant to buy high-end goods at luxury retailers, prosecutors said.

“Richards paid the mail carriers different amounts depending on how well the cards they stole performed,” the DA’s office said in a press release.

Kennisha Murrell, one of the four postal workers involved in the scheme.
Kennisha Murrell, one of the four postal workers involved in the scheme.
Steven Hirsch

The postal workers were identified as Brooklyn residents Kennisha Murrell, 36, Curquan Highsmith, 31, Bruce Bienvenue, 31, and Kenneth Freeman, Jr., 25, of Maryland.

Another suspect, Justin Forgenie, 33, of Brooklyn, allegedly used online databases to retrieve personal identifying information about the cardholders in order to activate the credit cards.

The defendants being led out of court after being indicted.
The defendants being led out of court after being indicted.
Steven Hirsch
The ring allegedly stole over 1,000 credit cards.
The ring allegedly stole over 1,000 credit cards.
Steven Hirsch

Tatiana Smith, 34, is accused of using the stolen cards to make purchases at stores including Hermes, Bloomingdale’s, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

The merchandise was then either sold for cash or returned for store credit that was, in turn, sold for money.

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