10/06/17 – A judge sentenced a former mail sorter at the Roanoke post office to probation for stealing money from the mail.
Michelle Spinner of Big Island was ordered at Thursday’s hearing to pay back $2,603, court papers said. She pleaded guilty in July to a single count of theft of mail or mail contents by a postal employee.
Spinner had worked for the post office for 10 years when, in 2015, postal officials received the first of a series of complaints from customers about mail tampering. Investigators captured video of Spinner opening mail, removing cash and placing the cash in her pocket while working on a machine called a “flat sorter, ” court papers said. source: The Roanoke Times
Previous press release from the US Attorney’s office:
Virginia Postal Worker pleads guilty to stealing mail
7/19/17 Roanoke, VIRGINIA – A former employee of the United States Postal Service pled guilty yesterday in federal court here to stealing items from the mail, including cash, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.
Michelle Spinner, 56, of Big Island, Virginia, waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty yesterday to a one count Information charging her with theft of mail matter by an officer or employee of the United States Postal Service.
According to evidence presented at yesterday’s hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Charlene R. Day, Spinner worked as a mail-processing clerk at the Roanoke Processing and Distribution Center. She began working for the USPS in 2005.
In January 2015, The United States Postal Service- Office of the Inspector General began an investigation into the handling of mail at the processing and distribution center after receiving complaints from customers about mail being “rifled.”
During the course of the investigation, video cameras captured Spinner working on a flat sorter on several occasions. While working on the flat sorter, Spinner could be seen pausing on certain pieces of mail and spending an extended period with her hands deep in a container. On occasion, video captured Spinner opening mail, removing cash and placing the cash in her pocket.
In all, Spinner stole a total of $2,603 in cash from mail at the processing center.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Service-Office of the Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Charlene R. Day prosecuted the case for the United States.