Postal worker pays high price for one-time mail theftA former Superior letter carrier, who jeopardized his career by pocketing a postal patron’s $118 Menards’ rebate check, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to mail theft.
By: Kevin Murphy/For the Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
MADISON — A former Superior letter carrier, who jeopardized his career by pocketing a postal patron’s $118 Menards’ rebate check, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to mail theft.
Brent Olson, 37, of Superior told District Judge Barbara Crabb that while crossing a street on his route, he noticed a Menards envelope addressed to Edward Nelson, of Superior.
“For some reason I put it in my back pocket and ended up using it,” Olson said.
“It might have been stupid but you knew what you were doing?” asked Crabb.
“That’s an understatement,” Olson replied.
Nelson complained to Menards about not receiving the rebate and they located store surveillance camera footage of Olson using the rebate check on May 26, 2012, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Connell.
Each check has a unique identifying number which is entered into company records when and where it is used, said Connell.
Olson admitted to the rebate check theft during an October interview with postal inspectors, said Connell.
After court Connell said Olson’s investigation involved only the one mail theft incident.
“Yes, just that one check cost him his job,’ said Connell.
Crabb released Olson on standard conditions until his May 24 sentencing at which he will face maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised released.
His actual sentence should be less severe as it will be based on advisory guidelines which factor in the amount of loss, the seriousness of the offense, prior convictions, relevant conduct and his timely guilty plea.
Olson’s guilty plea came at his first court appearance. He was charged last month. No trial date was ever set.
Olson has paid Nelson for his loss due to the theft, said Connell.
The U.S. Postal Service was completing Olson’s termination process after 16 years of employment, said Connell.