Two Postal Service Employees Face Federal Charges of Using Funds from Unemployment Insurance Scheme to Buy Postal Money Orders
SANTA ANA, CA (STL.News) Federal authorities this morning arrested two employees of the U.S. Postal Service who allegedly abused their positions to purchase and cash Postal money orders with tens of thousands of dollars of unemployment benefits fraudulently obtained with false claims of COVID-related job losses.
Christian Jeremyah James, 31, of South Los Angeles, who works in the Culver City Main Post Office, and Armand Caleb Legardy, 32, of Inglewood, who works in the La Tijera Post Office on Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles, are expected to make their initial court appearances this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.
A criminal complaint filed on March 3 and unsealed after today’s arrests charges James and Legardy with conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, and fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits.
The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint alleges that James and Legardy obtained debit cards issued by the California Employment Development Department (EDD), which administers the state’s unemployment insurance program. Those debit cards were issued based on applications for pandemic-related unemployment benefits submitted under 10 stolen identities.