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Public Safety, Virginia

Virginia postal worker steals mail from 180 victims on route, forges checks

United States Postal Service
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A former postal carrier with the U.S. Postal Service in Richmond pleaded guilty yesterday to theft of mail.

Wendy Lawrence, 40, stole mail, removing gift cards, checks and other items of value for her own use. Law enforcement recovered stolen mail from Lawrence’s residence belonging to more than 180 victims.

According to court documents, after stealing checks from the mail, Lawrence used the bank account and routing information on those checks to initiate electronic payments, which she used for such expenses as her tax bill, pest control bill and rent.

On at least one occasion, to prolong and conceal the fraud scheme, Lawrence initiated a fraudulent address change with the USPS on behalf of a victim, rerouting the victim’s mail to her own address.

Law enforcement also recovered checks from Lawrence’s residence that she forged for her own benefit including checks in the name of at least 30 other individuals.

Lawrence faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.