The employee is accused of failing to record a portion of the post office’s stamp, postage meter and bulk mail sales and taking the money for her personal use.
According to a plea agreement filed in federal court in Boise, Virginia Burcham, who served as a relief postmaster, plans to plead guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor misappropriation of postal funds.
Burcham, 42, was originally charged with embezzlement of public money and recording false entries and reports of money, in addition to misappropriation. Federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss the other charges in exchange for Burcham’s guilty plea.
Her plea saves’ Burcham from potentially spending an additional nine years in prison. Under the original charges, she was accused of stealing more than $1,000, punishable by up to 10 years on each of the three charges.
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Under the plea bargain, which Burcham signed Sept. 21, prosecutors reduced the alleged loss to less than $1,000. When she’s sentenced, Burcham will now face up to a year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.
Burcham’s arrest is the third in recent months alleging thefts from a post office or contract postal station.
Last week, Roxane Meier, 52, a former Paul’s Market employee in Nampa, pleaded guilty to one federal count of mail theft. She was accused of stealing at least $75 worth of Target gift cards from two envelopes mailed from the contract postal station inside the grocery store.
It’s unknown how many pieces of mail Meier stole while working at the store from late 2013 to August 2014. She was found was 38 stolen pieces of mail after federal postal inspectors detained her on Aug. 1, 2014.
An investigation began earlier that year after customers complained to the U.S. Postal Service and to Paul’s managers that envelopes mailed from the store either never arrived or they were delivered without their contents.
Earlier this month, Homedale resident Bobby E. Riley, 20, was arrested for allegedly stealing mail from boxes at the Homedale post office on at least four days between June and August.
Riley was charged with mail theft, also in federal court. He pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial on Nov. 3.
Last year, former Idaho City Postmaster Teresa Belau pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft, admitting she stole a Target gift card from the mail.
Belau, 56, served 10 days in jail and was ordered to serve two years of probation. If she successfully completes probation, the conviction will be expunged from her record.