PHOENIX Ariz. – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – A federal jury in Phoenix found Benjamin Brown, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia,
guilty on August 22, 2006 of Conspiracy to pass altered Postal Money Orders, and theft of Government funds. The case was tried before United States District Court Judge Stephen M. McNamee. Sentencing
is set before Judge McNamee on November 13, 2006.
The evidence at trial showed that between November 30 and December 24, 2004, Brown obtained Postal Money Orders that had been purchased in amounts ranging from $100 to $105. He and
or others then altered them by raising the amount of the money order from the original value to a value between $900 and $905.
Brown recruited others in the Phoenix area to cash the altered money orders in exchange for $50 per money order cashed. Mr. Brown was given the balance. In excess of $30,000 in altered money
orders were cashed in the Phoenix area.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to protecting the Postal Service and its customers from criminal attack,” said Inspector in Charge William P. Atkins, of the Los Angeles
Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “By illegally raising the value of these financial instruments, Mr. Brown sought to undermine the integrity of one of the most trusted forms of payment
in the United States, the Postal Money Order. Mr Brown’s conviction is a victory in our efforts to bring to justice those who elect to use the Postal Service to further their criminal activity.”
A conviction for Conspiracy to pass altered Postal Money Orders, and theft of Government funds carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, a $ 250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual
sentence, Judge McNamee will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
The investigation leading to the guilty verdict was conducted by Postal Inspector Jeffrey Agster of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The prosecution was handled by Paul V. Rood, Assistant
U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix , Ariz.
CASE NUMBER: CR05-0893-PHX-SMM
RELEASE NUMBER: 2006-165(Brown)