USPS worker with criminal history still on the job, despite taking plea deal in mail theft case

USPS worker with criminal history still on the job, despite taking plea deal in mail theft case

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A local postal worker is still on the job, despite pleading guilty to passing bad checks police say were stolen from the mail.

Video evidence of postal worker cashing stolen checks was crucial

Trena Bentley was arrested in July after an elderly man reported checks for his new bank account were missing from his mail.

One of those checks was fraudulently cashed for $2,500.

Pepper Pike Police stated the check was made out to Bentley and they had video evidence of her depositing the check.

The victim closed his bank account after the check was cashed in Bentley’s name.

Pepper Pike Police report they contacted the US Postal Service after finding out Bentley is a postal service worker.

The postal service told police, according to records, she was the "subject of a prior similar investigation, but there was not enough evidence for discipline or termination.”

When police got in touch with Bentley, reports state she told them a doctor wrote her a check to make party favors for a wedding. She also agreed to come to the police station to talk to officers.

They report she never showed and stopped answering her phone.

A grand jury indicted Bentley on four felony counts of theft and forgery.

Last month, she took a plea deal and admitted to a lesser charge of passing bad checks.

Court records show she was charged twice for bad checks in North Carolina in the 1990s. She was also charged with theft in Mahoning County.

All of those cases were dismissed.

In Cuyahoga County, she pleaded guilty to theft in 2002 and spent six months in jail after violating parole.

In 2015, she pleaded guilty to attempted trafficking in or illegal use of food stamps.

Cleveland 19 asked the postal service about Bentley’s position and when she was hired. We also asked why she’s still employed. They haven’t responded to those questions.

Cleveland 19 also reached out to Bentley’s attorney but haven’t heard back.

She’s set to be sentenced next week.

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