A former U.S. Postal Service mail carrier was sentenced Tuesday to 2 1/2 years in federal prison for stealing more than $275,000 in donations that were mailed to a charity along his route in west suburban Berwyn.
Frederick L. Taylor, 41, of Chicago, would steal mail addressed to the charity, open its contents inside his postal vehicle and pocket the donations, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. He would also take the charity's mail home to open later.
The thefts occurred between August 2010 and August 2011, prosecutors said. The charity's name was not identified.
Taylor possessed several pieces of the charity's mail containing $100 cash on Aug. 8, 2011, prosecutors said. At his home, 29,400 donation envelopes containing $17,741 in cash, contained $250,346 in checks, $6,143 in credit card payments and $1,681 in money orders from 250,000 donors.
"Stealing mail and its contents, or preventing delivery of donations to a charity organization … is a serious crime that carries stiff consequences as this sentence demonstrates," U.S. Postal Service spokesman Scott Caspall said. "The message is clear: postal employees who steal or abandon mail will be throwing away their postal career and face criminal prosecution and jail time."
Taylor pleaded guilty in August 2011 to possessing stolen mail, prosecutors said.
Taylor will begin serving his 30-month sentence on Feb. 21, prosecutors said. He was also ordered to pay $275,911 in restitution to the charity.
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