Florida Mail Worker Charged With Stealing Mailed Gift Cards

Many people find ways to supplement their income through working multiple jobs. Others resort to theft from their employer. Some feel desperation calling, and commit the crime. If one has been accused of a crime such as this, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Shennell Lehue Fluellen, of Fort Lauderdale was sentenced to two years of probation for stealing dozens of gift cards from South Florida mail. Fluellen admitted she stole at least 48 gift cards and 17 pieces of first-class mail – with a value of $1,565 – between June 2011 and May 2012. Fluellen, a mail handler at the Fort Lauderdale processing and distribution center who sorted and loaded mail for delivery by carriers, was caught by agents from the U.S. Postal Service’s Inspector General’s office. imagesgiftcards.jpg

Mail fraud in Jacksonville, including theft through by mail, is a serious federal offense involving use of the mail as a means of attempting or committing a scheme to defraud others of property or money. Mail theft or mail fraud may result in a fine of up to $250,000, along with imprisonment. If the fraud was aimed against a financial institution, the offender may be exposed to a prison sentence of up to 30 years, and fines of up to $1,000,000.

Normally, the theft of store merchandise and most other items will be a crime charged in state court. However, the theft of mail comes under the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Therefore, a person charged with a mail theft charge will face an entirely different criminal system with a different way of determining a proper sentence, if convicted.

Fraud can range widely, from base forms such as intentionally mailing falsified documents, to complicated forms such as the government construing letters or packages related to a mortgage application or bank transaction as evidence of a fraud. Furthermore, each instance of mail fraud is a separate offense. Multiple offenses can increase the prison sentence upon conviction.

When one enters the legal system to fight a mail fraud charge, one should remember that:

– The mail or electronic communication does not need to be essential to the fraud.
– If one personally refers to the scheme once in a phone conversation, one could be at risk of prosecution.
– One does not have to directly wire or mail anything fraudulent. If one’s fraudulent scheme causes alleged victims to mail or wire one money, one could be charged.

While the physical evidence may be present, the prosecution will need to prove the intent of the individual accused of mail fraud. This means that the prosecuting attorney will need to find a way to prove that the accused had the intention of committing fraud. This may prove to be more difficult for the prosecution to prove if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville mail theft crimes defense attorney to fight the case.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: US Postal Service worker sentenced for stealing 48 gift cards from South Florida mail, Paula McMahon, Sun Sentinel