A Houston man has been convicted of running a multi-million scheme where he used counterfeit postage machines to rip off the post office.
Neal Uy Lim, 50, owned three large pre-sorting mail businesses in the Houston area, operations that handle bulk mail and get a discount from the postal service.
A jury found that Lim had been handling a whole lot more mail than he had been paying the USPS for in terms of postage. Testimony showed he had rigged up machines to make fake postage labels. Companies paid him for handling a certain amount of mail; he took the mail, used some fake postage for lots of it, and paid the USPS for only part of it, keeping the difference for himself.
No exact dollar figure was released by the U.S. Attorney's office here, but they said it amounted to millions of dollars over a period of several years.
"Mailers in the U.S. enjoy some of the lowest cost postage in the world, so we take fraud against the Postal Service very seriously," said Gary Barksdale, of the Houston office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. "We aggressively pursue individuals or companies who make the mistake of committing these crimes. The jury's verdict finding Lim guilty on all charges should send a strong message to anyone considering fraud against the U.S. Postal Service."
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He'll be sentenced later this year. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment on the conspiracy to commit mail fraud conviction, 20 years on the two substantive mail fraud convictions, five years on each count of the possession of counterfeit postage meter machines convictions, and millions of dollars in forfeiture and/or restitution and/or fines of $250,000 as to each count of conviction.