FIRST ON FOX: House Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik says U.S. Postal Service (USPS) workers have stolen hundreds of donor checks totaling over $20,000.
A letter from the USPS to Stefanik’s campaign confirms its mail was “targeted for theft” at a USPS shipping center.
Fox News Digital exclusively obtained photos of the mail recovered by USPS as well as a letter from Stefanik’s campaign’s legal counsel to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy regarding the issue.
The photos show several packages torn into from the top as well as a ripped check that was not taken.
Stefanik’s campaign says that USPS workers opened mail from the campaign from four separate packages on three separate days in June, October, and November.
The alleged theft saw hundreds of donor checks totaling over $20,000 lifted from secured packages, according to Stefanik’s campaign.
Stefanik’s campaign also says that the U.S. postal police have failed to elevate the matter, even after senior campaign officials reached out, and that the USPS has yet to file their mandatory congressional report on the issue.
“On four separate occasions between June 2022 and November 2022, packages sent by Elise for Congress containing campaign contributions were ripped open and the contents stolen while in the custody of USPS or its contractors. Three of these incidents occurred in a single week,” the letter reads.
“In each case, the evidence indicates that Elise for Congress’s packages were plundered by a USPS employee or contractor while the packages were in transit. These repeated security failures by USPS have not only resulted in the loss of nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions, but also—and more alarmingly—have exposed hundreds of Congresswoman Stefanik’s campaign supporters to potential identity theft or financial fraud,” the letter continues.
The attorneys said the congresswoman and her campaign “have been disappointed by USPS’s response thus far to these brazen incidents” and that the “US Postal Inspection Service—which recovered the discarded, ripped open packages in Memphis—has not returned our client’s calls.”
The campaign’s attorneys also wrote that, though USPS’s inspector general office (USPS OIG) “is investigating the mail theft, they indicated it would be difficult to identify the USPS employees or contractors who perpetrated these crimes unless and until one or more of Elise for Congress’s supporters becomes the victim of identity theft or financial fraud.”
“Our clients were told months ago to expect a report from senior USPS OIG officials addressing the June 2022 mail theft incident, but to date have not received a report and recently learned it has not been finalized or sent. It is unacceptable that USPS has repeatedly allowed these targeted thefts to occur and cannot identify who committed the thefts, let alone where or how the thefts occurred.”
“Given the systemic nature of this serious problem, Congresswoman Stefanik and Elise for Congress feel compelled to elevate this issue to you. Our clients hereby demand that USPS provide the following information in writing by close of business December 8, 2022: (1) a list of all concrete actions taken by USPS to investigate these thefts; (2) the particular steps that USPS will take to ensure that Elise for Congress will not be the victim of mail theft in the future; and (3) a list of the actions that USPS will take to more effectively prevent, detect, and prosecute mail theft both in New York’s 21st Congressional District and nationwide.”
The attorneys wrote that Stefanik and her campaign donors “are not the only Americans who have been victimized by mail theft” and that the crime “is rampant in the United States, and USPS appears unwilling or unable to effectively deter or prevent it.”
They also highlighted the rising number of mail thefts in America and that this “astonishing increase in mail theft appears, in part, to be the result of criminals moving from small-scale theft targeting individual mail boxes to large-scale theft targeting mail once it has been entrusted to the custody of USPS.”
“Mail theft can devastate small business owners and those on fixed incomes, including the elderly. By failing to prevent or deter mail theft, USPS is exposing hardworking, innocent Americans to predatory criminals just as rising inflation and a cooling economy have left them at their most financially vulnerable,” the letter reads.
USPS did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.