Houston woman admits to stealing nearly $30K while working at USPS, feds say

Authorities shared how she pulled off the theft using no-fee postal money orders

FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2020, file photo, mail delivery vehicles are parked outside a post office in Boys Town, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File) (Nati Harnik, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – A 35-year-old Houston woman has admitted to four counts of theft of public money, a federal official announced Monday.

United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas said in a news release that Tranese Nicole Mitchel was formerly employed as a lead sales and service clerk with the U.S. Postal Service in Houston. Authorities said while employed there she issued fraudulent refunds by creating no-fee postal money orders and then cashed against her drawer at the post office.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery, Mitchel fraudulently issued and cashed a total of $29,947.30, adding that she admitted using the money for her own benefit.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen accepted the plea and set sentencing for April 11. At that time, Mitchel faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum $250,000 fine. She is permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing, the news release said. The U.S. Postal Service - Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Braddock is prosecuting the case.


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Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.