Former Postmaster Admits to Stealing from USPS

July 18, 2013 Updated Jul 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Megan Erbacher

...

Former Postmaster Admits to Stealing from USPS

July 18, 2013 Updated Jul 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- Michael Kozina, 57, of Eden, pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting to stealing more than $27,000 from the United States Postal Service.

Kozina was the Postmaster at the post office in Lawtons, NY from April 2005 to July 2012. In that time, prosecutors say he accepted cash payments for money orders from 12 USPS customers; but instead of depositing the cash in the register, Kozina kept part of the payment. Kozina covered up his crimes by falsifying USPS records, making it appear that the customers had purchased money orders at significantly smaller amounts. The scam netted Kozina $13,760.75.

Along with the falsified money orders, Kozina admitted to stealing approximately $13,585 in P.O. box rental payments between January 2009 and July 2012.

As a result of his guilty plea, Kozina was convicted of misappropriation of postal funds by a postal service employee. The maximum sentence for this conviction is 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Sentencing has not yet been scheduled in this case.