May 17, 2022

Why The Post Office Needs To Charge Us More

From The “Hard to Believe” Files

How does a postal employee steal $600,000 worth of stamps over a period of 10 years without the Post Office noticing that it’s stamps are missing??

Postal Clerk Admits $600,000 Stamp Theft

A Howard County postal clerk pilfered more than $600,000 worth of stamps, many of which were sold on eBay at a reduced price, federal authorities said.

Marvin L. Foster, 55, of Rosedale, who worked as a clerk at the Elkridge post office for a decade, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to conspiracy to steal from the U.S. Postal Service.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office for Maryland, Foster stole the stamps and then sold them to others for a profit. One of his alleged co-conspirators sold more than $259,000 worth of stamps on eBay for about $229,000, authorities said.

Foster was caught on hidden camera several times in December as he sneaked into the post office supply room and rifled through boxes of “forever” stamps, according to court documents. The stamps, which never expire, come in bricks of 2,000 stamps worth $840 as well as coils of 100 stamps that cost $42.

Certain questions, not covered in the Washington Post story, really need to be answered by the involved parties in this theft.

  • If the Post Office took a decade to realize that a post office branch was missing $600,000 in stamps, one has to wonder how many other thefts took place or are taking place that have not yet been uncovered.
  • Any private business that holds inventory conducts routine physical audits to spot shortages and verify inventory values.   Does the Post Office not conduct routine physical inventory counts to compare to recorded stamp inventory on their financial records?  If inventories are not conducted they should be, and if they are conducted, the Post Office procedures are obviously not very effective.
  • How does EBAY not ask questions or investigate the sale of US Postal Stamps being sold at a discount?  Stamps are not sold by the Post Office at a discount based on volume.  Simple logic would suggest that anyone selling US Postal stamps at less than face value is probably selling stolen stamps.

The Postal Service has seen a severe decline in business due to the growth of email and on line bill payment services, etc. which obviate the need for physical mail delivery.  Instead of downsizing or becoming more efficient as volume declines, the Post Office solution has been to continuously raise rates which, of course, is self defeating.   That the Postal Service is in dire need of restructuring seems obvious to many – what is not obvious is why it hasn’t been done.

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