WINTER PARK, Fla.,None - A seemingly successful Winter Park businessman whose website touts features on Forbes and entrepreneur.com is facing several felonies over stamps.
The postal inspector's office said they rarely see anyone steal stamps. But 26-year-old Gary "Jason" Bergenske is accused of stealing $3,200 worth.
Bergenske bolted from the room when WFTV walked into his Winter Park business with a camera.
His website touts he's the president and CEO of The Barter Network, a company that gets other businesses together to trade services.
But the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said he's a thief.
"He said he thought there was nothing wrong with what he was doing," U.S. Postal Inspector Brad Kramer said.
The investigation stemmed from bogus stamps. Bergenske used an online service, endicia.com, that allows people to print their own stamps.
But investigators said instead of just printing the stamps, he would pay for a set, then print multiple copies of the same set of stamps, essentially counterfeiting postage.
"This was stacks. We're talking thousands of pieces of mail, counterfeit postage applied to it," Kramer said.
Stacks of more than 8,000 pieces of mail over a couple of years, which inspectors say was way too many to be a mistake.
"Postal inspectors say when you print at your business, each stamp has its own number and unique
bar code. So when scanned, they can easily tell if it's been used more than once.
"It was surprising to see an individual who looks like he has a successful
business; he's going to nickel-and-dime to save a few pennies," Kramer said.
It's a crime
that has ultimately left Bergenske facing felony charges.
Bergenske faces two felony
charges, one for for grand theft and another for scheme to defraud. He's out of jail on a $2,100 bond.