Westchester Postal Carrier Took Credit Cards, Checks From Mail, Stole Identities: Feds

A Westchester County postal carrier from Long Island faces federal charges after taking credit cards, checks, and identities from the mail to steal money from those along her route, officials announced. 

USPS mail truck

USPS mail truck

Photo Credit: Pixabay/Image by F. Muhammad

Nassau County resident Tameka Babulal of Hempstead, age 36, was arrested in connection with the alleged identity theft scheme on Wednesday, May 22, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced.

Babulal, a mail carrier who worked in the Westchester County city of Mount Vernon, was arrested along with her husband, Hempstead resident 36-year-old Joel Babulal, who also took part in the criminal activity, officials said. 

According to federal officials, during her route in Mount Vernon, Babulal would steal checks and credit cards mailed by victims and use them for personal gain. This included depositing altered checks stolen from victims into personal finance accounts and also coordinating with co-conspirators to take victims' personal identifying information, according to authorities.

Babulal would then use this information to open fraudulent accounts in her victims' names, officials said.

During a search of Babulal's residence on Wednesday, authorities found dozens of credit cards and checks in other people's names, including "washed" checks and several bundles of undelivered mail that were to be sent to addresses on her mail route. Some of this mail was from financial institutions, according to officials. 

Officials added that officers also found several social security cards and tax documents in other people's names during the search, as well as 17 phones alleged to have been used in the scheme.

Because of the allegations, Babulal's employment with the USPS has been suspended indefinitely. She is now charged with:

  • One count of theft of mail by a postal worker, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison;
  • One count each of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, which both carry maximum sentences of 30 years;
  • One count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years.

Matthew Modafferi, the USPS-OIG Special Agent in Charge who helped with the investigation, condemned Babulal's alleged actions as a betrayal of the American public. 

"The dedicated work of Postal Service employees should never be overshadowed by those who compromise their integrity," Modafferi said. 

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