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Vernon Harrison of Montgomery, Ala., a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, was recently found guilty of one count of conspiring to file false claims, eight counts of mail fraud, eight counts of aggravated identity theft and six counts of embezzlement from the U.S. mail for his involvement in a stolen identity refund fraud conspiracy.
According to court records, Harrison and others used stolen identities to file false tax returns, then had the refunds sent to debit cards which were mailed to addresses on Harrison's postal route in Montgomery. Harrison then stole at least 100 debit cards from the mail and gave them to a co-conspirator in exchange for cash.
"We trust our mail carriers to deliver, not steal our mail," U.S. Attorney George L. Beck said in a statement. "Harrison abused that trust. Harrison and his criminal organization not only stole innocent people’s identities, filed fraudulent tax returns and received tax refunds not owed to them, but they used Harrison’s position as a mail carrier to steal these debit cards from the mail. This criminal behavior will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Harrison faces up to 216 years in prison, plus fines, forfeiture and mandatory restitution.