A California woman faces up to 10 years in prison over a counterfeit postage scheme that cost the USPS an estimated $60 million.
Lijuan "Angela" Chen was arrested on May 24 after postal inspectors say she shipped nine million parcels over the course of six months using shipping labels belonging to a meter number which had been phased out in 2020, despite indicating that it had been purchased in 2023.
Chen faces one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and one count of use or possession of counterfeit postage per the filing, Insider reports.
According to an inspector's affidavit, the USPS would have lost $60 million in revenue due to the apparent scheme.
He also carried out surveillance on a warehouse, watching a delivery truck travel to a USPS facility "where it unloaded twelve large cardboard boxes full of parcels containing counterfeit postage," per the affidavit.
Other inspectors saw one truck, which had been turned away from a distribution center for trying to ship mail with counterfeit postage, parked outside Chen's house a day later, according to the court document. -Insider
"The evidence obtained in the investigation shows that Chen is operating a business which provides shipping and postage services to businesses, including e-commerce vendors operating out of China, that seek discounted USPS rates for mailing their products within the United States," reads the filing.
"Multiple examinations conducted by USPS and USPIS staff have revealed that the vast majority of the postage used by Chen and her business to ship goods within the United States is counterfeit."
According to prosecutors, Chen's husband first ran the scheme before traveling to China in 2019, after which she is believed to have continued it up to August 2022.