SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. — A postal employee is facing charges after prosecutors in New York said he stole Costco reward checks while at work.
Gerome Fowler, who works as a carrier for the United States Postal Service, was charged with grand larceny and other charges for taking the checks that should have been delivered to customers on his delivery route, prosecutors said in a news release.
“This defendant allegedly abused his position as a postal employee to violate the private mail of unsuspecting residents and steal their reward funds for his own personal use,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement.
A Costco employee was credited with alerting investigators to what was happening.
“(Fowler) was continually, over and over again, cashing these certificates into his own account, and he was wearing a postal uniform,” Tierney told WCBS.
In court paperwork, investigators said they followed Fowler through his day as he took the envelopes meant to be delivered to customers, and then went to Costco after work. The court filings detail a list of reward checks redemptions totaling more than $7,000 from December 2021 through May 2022. Prosecutors said in their news release that their evidence shows that Fowler redeemed more than $70,000 in reward checks dating back to February 2020.
Prosecutors told WCBS that Fowler used the money to buy high-end items, like luxury jewelry.
Fowler appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges, WNYW reported. A conviction of the top charge Fowler faces carries a maximum of seven years in prison.
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