Three individuals have been charged with federal crimes in a case involving more than $185,000 in stolen postage stamps from offices in Los Angeles and Orange County. The three are charged with conspiracy in setting up a scheme to steal the stamps. The three collectively face 34 felony charges for their parts in the conspiracy.
The three allegedly used forged checks to purchase stamps at postage offices in Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Norwalk, Rancho Santa Margarita, Santa Ana, Sierra Madre and Whittier. The alleged forgeries and thefts took place between October 2010 and July 2012.
The suspects have been charged with conspiracy as well as possession of forged instruments, passing false checks and theft of government property. However, only one suspect has so far been apprehended by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is unclear what type of punishment the three may expect if convicted of all charges; it is also unclear if further charges may be pending or when the other two suspects will be taken into custody, as only one has been arrested.
Federal charges are often far more serious than charges from local law enforcement. Federal crimes are charged in federal court, and suspects may find it beneficial to retain a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with their particular charges to help build a defense. Understanding your rights and options when facing federal charges is the first step toward protecting your freedom.
Source: OC Weekly, "Federal Grand Jury in Orange County Indicts Three For Stealing $185,000 In Stamps," R. Scott Moxley, Dec. 28, 2012