United States Postal Service (USPS) worker Jaleesa Wallace, 30, of Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States has been arrested. She is accused of stealing blank postal money orders and unemployment benefits cards.
On February 1, 2021, the station manager for the U.S. Post Office on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn placed an order for 10,000 blank postal money orders that can be deposited with financial institutions in exchange for up to $1,000 per money order. Wallace was on duty there while the manager was not on duty when the money orders were delivered there at 8:02 a.m. on February 13, 2021.
Packaged and shipped in four boxes, the money orders were not entered into the facility’s system. Law enforcement was alerted about the money orders that had never arrived at the post office and the station manager placed an order for a new set of money orders.
On July 9, 2021, law enforcement executed the search of the apartment of Wallace’s boyfriend Willie Cook, 34, in Brooklyn. They found around 300 of the stolen money orders along with $1,200 in cash and prepaid debit cards from the Department of Labor that are used for unemployment benefits and were not in his name.
Wallace was not home when the search of her apartment in Brooklyn was executed that day. Authorities found her to be in possession of around 3,189 of the stolen money orders contained in two large boxes, 37 prepaid debit cards from the Department of Labor that are used for unemployment benefits and were not in her name and 42 pieces of mail from the Department of Labor not in her name.
Cook was arrested as a co-conspirator. He is not a USPS employee so it is not likely that he would have had access to the stolen money orders, according to authorities.
According to Cook, Wallace was planning to sell the stolen money orders on WhatsApp and the encrypted messaging app Telegram. On July 13, 2021, she was arrested.