After months of covering a series of checking washing cases allegedly tied to a Boynton Beach post office, WPTV is learning of a new case.
WPTV has been following the story for months.
“I think the problem is at that postal center in Boynton,” Joseph Schioppo told WPTV in September. “There were five checks that were mailed to me that were stolen that were signed and remotely deposited.”
“I called the police,” Lorna Swartz said in August. “I called the bank and indeed it was confirmed that it was a fraudulent check.”
Schioppo and Swartz aren’t alone. Over the past year, WPTV has heard from dozens of people who lost money, or nearly lost cash, after leaving a check in the collection bin at the post office at Jog Road and Boynton Beach Boulevard.
Delray Beach police ultimately arrested a group of men who were allegedly connected to some mail fraud cases in Boynton Beach.
But months later, there’s a new case.
“We’ve had two occasions. The first one was August, a year ago,” Jeffrey Billington said. “We deposited three checks outside in the box. They were stolen all at the same time. The one check was washed and rewritten for $8,900.”
Billington told WPTV the most recent case happened in early December, but this time his wife walked the checks inside the post office.
“One was washed and rewritten for $30,000,” Billington said. “We have an overdraft protection on our checking and that kicked in and this check would have been paid if they hadn’t caught it.”
Billington said he reported it to Boynton Beach police and the post office.
WPTV checked with the United States Postal Inspection Service to see if there is an active investigation, but we still haven’t heard back.
“We know the branch. It was deposited in New Jersey,” Billington said. “Why can’t they track this person down?”
WPTV spoke with a post office manager on Wednesday, and he said they are aware of the ongoing mail theft problem. He said there are cameras outside of the building, and they are working on getting a new collection box outside with a smaller slit to, hopefully, keep thieves from fishing checks out of the box.
“We have a right to expect that when we put something in the post office it’s gonna be delivered,” Billington said.
The postal service advises against mailing money, especially during the holidays, and if you’re going to do it, the American Bankers Association recommends writing your checks with a pen that has indelible ink, making it harder to wash.