July 19, 2009

Postal worker stole kids’ birthday money

A former mail sorter in California who stole money from children's birthday cards has been sentenced to five months behind bars.

Before he began working for the U.S. Postal Service, Dean Hudson was a loss-prevention specialist at Wal-Mart, The Marysville (Calif.) Appeal-Democrat reported Saturday.

Once he completes his prison term, Hudson, 29, must spend five months in home detention. At a hearing in Sacramento, U.S. District Judge Edward Garcia also ordered Hudson to pay $2,944 restitution.

Hudson worked at the Olivehurst sorting facility. Postal inspectors began an investigation after residents of Chico, Calif., complained about mail arriving that had been opened.

Investigators said Hudson had opened at least 1,000 cards. Once he had pulled out any enclosed bills, he would place the envelopes upside down on the sorting belt so the machinery would not jam.

Hudson pleaded guilty May 5.