CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A U.S. Postal Service employee from Cleveland and a man she lived with have been indicted for allegedly stealing at least 1,500 gift cards worth no less than $47,000.
Jennifer Riccardi, 46, and Joseph Dennis, 37, were indicted on charges including conspiracy to commit theft of mail and possession of stolen mail, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, possession of stolen mail and access device fraud.
Riccardi was also charged with theft of mail by a postal employee.
According to the indictment, the theft took place between December 2016 and December 2017.
Riccardi, who worked at the USPS facility at 2400 Orange Ave., stole cards, letters and other pieces of mail she believed contained gift cards, focusing primarily on brightly covered envelopes that appeared to contain greeting cards.
Investigators say Riccardi would conceal the mail she took in bags or her lunchbox and then transport it to the residence she shared with Dennis during her mid-shift break or at the end of the workday.
Dennis and Riccardi sold at least 41 stolen gift cards and used others to make purchases from Amazon, Kohl’s, Starbucks and other locations.
In one night alone, Riccardi stole more than 100 apparent greeting cards. Among the stolen mail that was opened was a card from a mother to her daughter signed “Love you! Mom” and a card from an uncle and aunt wishing a “Happy 1stBirthday.”
“This defendant is accused of stealing more than 1,000 gift cards worth tens thousands of dollars, including birthday presents or other gifts people entrusted to the postal service for delivery to their family and loved ones. Those who steal mail will be held accountable for their actions, just like any other criminal,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herman said.
There’s a warrant out for Dennis' arrest.
Both could face time in federal prison if convicted.
If you believe you are a victim of mail theft, call: 1-800-275-8777