Officials: 3 Philadelphia-area men charged with stealing nearly 400 checks from USPS mailboxes

An alleged mail fraud scheme could mean prison time and up to $8.5-million-fines for three men from the Philadelphia area.

Sam Wolo, 21, of Philadelphia; Bruno Nyanue, 20, of Philadelphia; and Gransae Manue, 20, of Clifton Heights are charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit mail theft, possession of stolen mail and robbery of a postal carrier. 

All three men stole or attempted to steal more than $170,000 by "washing" and depositing checks and money orders stolen from USPS mailboxes in Drexel Hill, according to the U.S. District Attorney's Office.

The stolen checks were often altered with amounts greater than the original value, without the victim's knowledge.

Officials say they were able to repeatedly steal from mailboxes after forcibly robbing a letter carrier of his Arrow Key.


About 372 stolen checks and 11 money orders totaling more than $170,000 were reportedly found in Wolo's apartment and vehicle. 

If convicted, Wolo faces a maximum of 236 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $8.5 million. Nyanue faces a maximum of 64 years in prison, and Manue faces a maximum of 172 years; both with possible fines of at least $3 million.