Stamp Of Disapproval

BUFFALO – Letters and packages from Frewsburg may have gotten to their intended destinations over the past 14 years. The money used to pay for their shipping likely did not.

Instead of turning cash used to pay for stamps over to the U.S. Postal Service, Frewsburg’s former postmaster, Donna Spencer, was pocketing the money for her own good.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced Thursday that Spencer, a Falconer resident, pleaded guilty to misappropriation of postal funds by a postal service employee before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr., who handled the case, said that Spencer was employed by the United States Postal Service since 1986. Between Feb. 13, 1999, and July 19, 2013, Spencer was employed as the postmaster at the Frewsburg post office. During that time, she accepted cash payments from customers for the purchase of postage stamps. Instead of depositing the cash payments into the register, the defendant kept the cash for her own purposes.

An audit of the Frewsburg facility determined that the total loss amount was $14,023.50.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Monica Weyler, special agent in charge of the Eastern Area Field Office.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 27 at 10 a.m. before Judge Skretny.