CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 News tracked down a postal worker who was convicted of cashing a check taken out of the mail.
The report helped give new life to a dormant postal inspectors probe into the same worker.
Now, 19 News has discovered that, this time, she’ll face federal charges.
No one came to the door of Trena Bentley’s home when we tried to ask her about the federal indictment; one charging her with two counts of mail fraud and one of making false statements.
19 News knows well of the false statements. We heard one in March when we asked her why she pleaded guilty.
“I didn’t plead guilty,” was her answer.
When confronted with court documents that confirmed her guilty plea, she responded “OK, if that’s what the court records say, you’re right.”
A video from a bank surveillance camera was critical in Pepper Pike detectives filing the first case against Bentley.
After the guilty plea, she was sentenced to a year of probation and court costs of just under $350. She also can have no contact with the 82-year-old victim who’s check she cashed for $2,500.
At the time, postal inspectors confirmed she was the subject of a prior similar investigation, but there was not enough evidence for discipline or termination. It appears that has changed.
Pending the outcome of the new criminal case, Bentley is on what they call non-working status at the United States Post Office. Earlier, she had been paid despite the earlier case.
The new case involves crimes from 2014 where checks were taken for more than $20,000. Prosecutors say she mailed them to a person in Houston, who cashed them and split the money with Bentley.