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US representative from New York Elise Stefanik is alleging nearly $20,000 dollars in donations has been stolen from her campaign in targeted mail theft, and her team is demanding action from the United States postal service.
Peter Pullano, a lawyer at Tully Rinckey, said if this is true, some fairly serious crimes could have been committed—including federal mail tampering, theft, and larceny. They’re felony level charges that could put people in prison.
“There’s reason to believe that there was some amount of, not political foul play, but that there was in fact some amount of theft that was happening in-house with the post office,” said Pullano.
More alarming than the stolen money, the letter states, is that “these crimes may have left hundreds of donors exposed to potential identity theft or financial fraud.” Pullano, a lawyer for Tully Rinckey, says those who donated to Stefanik’s campaign should take steps to protect themselves.
“Right now, I think the best thing to do is to have a heightened sense of alertness on everything,” Pullano said. “I would recommend checking bank accounts online, pretty much every day.”
The claim was made in a letter Thursday, addressed to Postmaster General Louis Dejoy. It shows photos of mail being ripped apart—including a torn check from a donor. The packages were discovered in Memphis by the USPS Inspection Service.
The letter states that “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.”
Stefanik’s lawyer says that three of the thefts discovered occurred in a single week and concluded that the “evidence indicates that elise for congress’s packages were plundered by a usps employee or contractor while the packages were in transit.”
Congresswoman Stefanik’s team says they are continuing to identify grassroots donors who have been affected by this and look forward to a response from Postmaster Louis Dejoy.
The US Postal Service said they received yesterday’s letter and will respond with findings, adding both the Postal Inspection Service and Office of Inspector General have a potential role to play in this investigation.