Woman arrested for counterfeit postage scheme that cost USPS estimated $60 million
A 50-year-old woman living in Walnut has been arrested and is expected to be arraigned on federal charges of a counterfeit postage scheme that costs the U.S. Postal Service more than $60 million over a six-month span.
Lijuan Chen, who is also known as Angela, was arrested on Tuesday after inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigation found her to be guilty of the conspiracy to defraud the United States, and possession and use of counterfeit postage, according to a release from the United States Department of Justice.
"The evidence obtained in the investigation shows that Chen is operating a business which provides shipping and postage services to businesses, including e-commerce vendors operating out of China, that seek discounted USPS rates for mailing their products within the United States," according to the affidavit in support of the complaint. "Multiple examinations conducted by USPS and USPIS staff have revealed that the vast majority of the postage used by Chen and her business to ship goods within the United States is counterfeit."
Chen's business, located in the city of Industry, received parcels from the vendors and others before shipping labels were applied showing that the postage ad been paid. The parcels were then transferred to various USPS facilities for shipping across the nation, according to prosecutors.
Between November 1 and April 30, a USPS analyst estimates that Chen and her employees shipped more than 9 million pieces of mail containing counterfeit postage, costing more than $60 million in revenue losses for the USPS.
Chen's husband previously operated the business, but left for China just days after he was interviewed by postal inspectors back in 2019.
If convicted of the charges, Chen faces up to 10 years in prison, according to the United States Attorney's Office.
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