Woman Pleads Guilty in Postal Service Fraud Scheme

Woman Pleads Guilty in Postal Service Fraud Scheme

(RepublicanView.org) – A California woman has admitted to defrauding the United States Postal Service of more than $150 million. Lijuan Chen pleaded guilty to running a packaging and shipping business and sending millions of packages with counterfeit stamps by printing duplicates on adhesive paper. The US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said the fraudulent scheme “caused massive losses to our nation’s postal service” and promised to hold the perpetrators to account.

Chen made a plea agreement with prosecutors and agreed to forfeit assets, including real estate, insurance policies, and cash. After pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US and one count of counterfeit postage, she faces a five-year prison sentence at her next court hearing in August.

Prosecutors said co-conspirator Chuanhua Hu fled to China when he realized authorities were aware of the scheme. Hu allegedly continued his activities in China, developing a computer program that enabled fraudulent stamp production.

A press release from the US Attorney’s Office states that Chen has been in federal custody since May 2023. The fraud began in 2020 and involved more than 34 million packages sent to US Postal Service facilities with fraudulent pre-paid labels attached. These were then transported across the United States. The labels included “intelligent barcode data” taken from previously transported parcels, court documents explained.

News of the fraud comes just months after two California brothers pleaded guilty in a scheme that cost the US Postal Service more than $2 million. In February, Anwer Fareed Alam and Yousofzay Fahim Alam admitted mail fraud after claiming they had lost several insured mail packages and pocketed $100 compensation for each.

Authorities later discovered that the brothers had sent empty packages and then lied and said the contents were destroyed or lost. They used several names and fictitious addresses to pull off the scam, which ran from 2016 to 2019 and cost the US Postal Service $2,367,033. The brothers face a potential 20-year jail term and will be sentenced in November.

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