August 6, 2009 in Business

Mail carrier faces fraud, theft charges

Worker accused of intercepting checks
By The Spokesman-Review
 

A Seattle Postal Service worker with a Lexus and a bad alibi was charged with mail theft and bank fraud last week after he allegedly stole a $208,307 check that a Spokane company had tried to send to a subcontractor.

The check written by Lydig Construction of Spokane was by far the biggest, and the last, that substitute mail carrier Trevor McBee allegedly intercepted and deposited into his wife’s Boeing Employee Credit Union account between March 23 and June 22, according to documents.

When the Lydig check did not clear, the credit union launched an investigation that revealed McBee had taken six checks totaling more than $219,000 while sorting mail or making deliveries in Seattle’s Interbay and Magnolia neighborhoods.

“I think that’s when the whole thing unwound,” said credit union spokesman Tod Pietzsch.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, the investigation by the credit union and U.S. Postal Service revealed McBee had either forged the endorsement on the checks or made his wife the payee.

The five-year postal employee told his wife they had won the lottery, and bought the Lexus, the complaint states.

Surveillance photos and videos showed McBee depositing the checks at credit union ATMs. A review of Postal Service records showed McBee was either delivering or sorting mail when the checks disappeared.

On July 7, McBee told the credit union investigator that a man named Randall gave him the checks in exchange for his services as a driver.

When postal inspectors showed up two weeks later, McBee admitted he stole the checks.

Dwaine Willis, who handles accounts receivable for the Seattle subcontractor, Mehrer Drywall Inc., said he questioned Lydig about an expected payment.

Lydig said a check had been sent, Willis said, but when Lydig could find no record it had cleared the company’s bank, the check was cancelled and another one sent, Willis said.

Willis said he had no idea the first check had been stolen until he read about the theft Wednesday on the Seattle P-I Web site.

“I wasn’t worried. I had my money,” Willis said, adding of Lydig, “They’re good payers.”


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