CHARLOTTE, NC – Two criminal indictments were unsealed in federal court today following the arrest of a US postal carrier and a co-conspirator for their involvement in an extensive mail theft scheme, US Attorney Dena J. King announced. Carolina.
Tommy D. Coke, inspector in charge of the Atlanta Division of the US Postal Inspection Service, which oversees the Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG) for Charlotte, Jeff Krafels, special agent in charge of the United States Postal Service, Mid. -Atlantic Area Field Office (MAAFO), which oversees Charlotte, and Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Chief Johnny Jennings joins US Attorney King in today’s announcement.
Kiara Padgett, 28, of Waxhaw, NC, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and 10 counts of theft of mail from a postal employee. A separate indictment charges Terrell Alexander Hager Jr., 23, of Charlotte, with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and seven counts of possession of stolen mail.
According to allegations contained in Padgett’s indictment, Padgett was employed by the US Postal Service as a mail carrier with a postal route in West Charlotte. From August 2021 to November 2022, Padgett used her position as a postal carrier to steal incoming and outgoing checks from businesses and individuals, which she then sold to other individuals in Charlotte and Maryland. The indictment alleges that the total face value of the checks Padgett stole was more than $8.3 million. Between August 2021 and June 2022, Padgett received at least $13,698 for his role in the scheme, the indictment alleges.
The indictment filed against Hager alleges that between August 2021 and November 2022, Hager and his co-conspirators received stolen checks from Padgett. The co-conspirators deposited the stolen checks into bank accounts controlled by Hager and others and then made cash withdrawals before the financial institutions detected the fraud. During the course of the scheme, Hager and his co-conspirators deposited more than $27,000 in stolen checks and money orders. Hager posted more than 400 stolen checks online for sale, totaling more than $7.3 million. Checks posted by Hager were allegedly stolen from Padgett’s Postal Line in West Charlotte. According to today’s court filings, Hager was on probation in the state of North Carolina when he committed the fraud.
Padgett was released on bond after her arraignment. If convicted, Padgett faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the bank fraud conspiracy charge and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the 10 counts of theft of mail by a postal worker.
Hager remains in federal custody. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for seven counts of possession of stolen mail.
The particulars contained in this charge sheet are the charges. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
USPIS, USPS-OIG, and CMPD investigated the case. Assistant US Attorney Jenny G. Sugar of the US Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is handling the prosecution.