Second Conspirator at Now-Defunct Mail Service Provider Admits to Defrauding USPS of More Than $1.5 Million
A Camden County, N.J., man who worked as a former manager at a now-defunct Gloucester County. N.J.-based mail house, admitted in federal court in Camden, N.J., earlier this week to helping to defraud the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) out of more than $1.5 million in postage from 2010 to September of 2017. Steven Kaczorowski, 46, plead guilty to one count of mail fraud, according to U.S. District Attorney of New Jersey Craig Carpentino.
The Attorney's Office did not name the now-closed bulk mailing operation where Kaczorowski worked as a manager. It was owned and operated by co-conspirator Anthony "Tony" Bucolo. Bucolo plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud back in November of 2018, and reportedly agreed to make full restitution of the $1.5 million as part of his plea agreement. The 76-year-old Bucolo died the month before his Feb. 22, 2019, sentencing hearing.
Kaczorowski assisted the company's owner to prepare bulk mailings, typically for shipping large mailings on behalf of other businesses, educational institutions and charitable organization, Carpentino alleged. Bucolo, with the help of Kaczorowski, underreported the volume of mail pieces actually mailed; altered USPS forms; and added mail onto pallets, trays, tubs or sacks after the mail had been accepted and postage assessed and collected by a postal employee, the complaint indicated. At the same time, they billed clients as if the postage had been paid. Click here to view the PDF of the original indictment.
According to the investigation, the co-conspirators defrauded the USPS by various means, including:
- Secreting the mail of the company's customers, which did not bear proper postage, inside pallets of other properly prepared and paid mail by burying unpaid mail beneath a few layers of paid mail. By hiding unpaid mail in pallets of paid mail, the company intentionally created the misimpression that the postage for the entire pallet of mail had been paid when, in fact, it had not.
- Adding pallets of customers' mail that did not bear proper postage with pallets of mail for which postage had been paid along with altered USPS forms in order to convey the appearance that postage for the entirety of the mail had been paid. The company altered USPS forms in various ways, including by adding digits after the forms had already been cleared by a USPS employee and by improperly using a round-date ink-stamper without authority, so that USPS employees who physically accepted and processed the mail would be duped into believing proper postage had been paid.
Kaczorowski also faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for committing wire fraud conspiracy. He reportedly will be sentenced in July.