PHILADELPHIA - An alleged mail fraud scheme could mean prison time and $1-million-fines for three men from the Philadelphia area.
Naod Tsegay, 22, of Collingdale; Fode Bangoura, 20, of Philadelphia; and Zyier Williams, 19, of Philadelphia, are charged with bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, possession of stolen United States Postal Service keys and possession of stolen mail.
All three men stole or attempted to steal more than $200,000 by fraudulently altering and depositing personal and business checks stolen from USPS mailboxes, according to the U.S. District Attorney's Office.
Victims told officials that their checks were never delivered after placing them in blue collection boxes near their homes.
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Officials say designated payees and dollar amount were changed on each check, then deposited into the bank accounts of recruits found by the suspects.
Tsegay allegedly withdrew or attempted to withdraw the fraudulently deposited funds. He was also found with dozens of stolen check and money orders and two collection box keys, according to officials.
If convicted, the suspects face mandatory time in prison and a fine of at least $1 million.