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CBS New York investigation finds at least a dozen mail carriers accused of mail theft, fraud in New York City area in recent years

CBS New York looks into mail theft & fraud committed by mail carriers
CBS New York looks into mail theft & fraud committed by mail carriers 03:03

NEW YORK -- A former mail carrier from Brooklyn is facing federal charges for allegedly stealing dozens of credit cards in the mail and using them to buy high-end clothes and pricey food over the course of two years.

CBS New York investigative reporter Tim McNicholas found this is not the first time a local mail carrier has faced accusations like this.

From Prada to Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent to Givenchy -- federal prosecutors say Khaisa King and Ricky Faustin enjoyed more than $100,000 worth of fancy dinners, clothing and more using credit cards King stole, and it wasn't just luxury brands.

Prosecutors also suspect the stolen cards were used at local businesses, including the Triangle Deli in Brooklyn, where owner Alaeldin Hauter says he deals with credit card fraud several times per year and the hassle of trying to get reimbursed.

"That's going into my pocket and robbing in a slick way ... Every day, you do 100 transactions and then you have to go through each one of them to find a specific transaction from a specific time. And most of the time, just for a little simple, maybe if the ink on the credit card machine gets slow, that's a loss for you," Hauter said.

Federal prosecutors say King stole more than 40 credit cards from the mail between October 2021 and April of this year. She worked at three different Brooklyn post offices during that time -- one in Sheepshead Bay, one in Gravesend and one in Midwood.

But it's not the first time.

We dug through court records and found in the last few years, at least 12 mail carriers have been charged in the New York City area in connection with mail theft and fraud.

In 2021, the Manhattan district attorney charged 10 people, including four mail carriers, for a $750,000 credit card theft and fraud scheme.

Last fall, U.S. attorneys in the Southern District of New York charged three mail carriers in connection with a $1.3 million fraud scheme.

In March of 2021, the Queens district attorney charged a mail carrier with stealing a credit card and using it pay for an $8,000 plastic surgery.

The Postal Service said in a statement to CBS New York that thefts by mail carriers are rare. USPS says, "We continue working with our partners in law enforcement to address and prevent the infinitesimal fraction of incidents that your reporting alludes to."

"The good thing is if these were all credit cards, then people do have protection under federal law," said Teresa Murray, a consumer watchdog with the nonprofit U.S. Public Interest Research Group. "Debit cards do have protections as well, but they're not as good as they are with credit cards."

There are ways for business owners to get reimbursed, too, but Hauter explained, it can be complicated.

It's issue for corner delis and luxury fashion brands alike.

We reached out to Faustin's lawyer and never heard back. King's lawyer said they don't discuss pending cases.

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