Stolen mail, identify theft lands man in prison for four years
Ernest Eugene Leffew, 47, a former resident of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. to serve a total of 49 months in federal prison for possession of stolen mail and aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Inspector in Charge Adrian Gonzalez with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Leffew was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and $2,514 in restitution to multiple victims.
From August 2016, to January 2017, Leffew, who was living as a transient in Mississippi, was found to be in possession of stolen mail when encountered by law enforcement in Hancock and Harrison Counties. An investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service revealed that Leffew possessed multiple pieces of mail as well as checks, debit cards and credit cards not belonging to him. He also had a notebook containing handwritten personal information of other people, including names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and associated account numbers.
As part of Leffew’s scheme to defraud, Leffew altered checks in his possession which he had stolen from the United States mail, and added the name of a victim to the payable section and the victim’s alleged signature to the back of a stolen check. Leffew also committed aggravated identify theft by obtaining a Walmart credit card in the name of one of the victims, and upon his receipt of the card in the victim’s name at an address Leffew used, he used it to make purchases without the victim’s knowledge or permission.
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