Providence man admits to role in 'fishing' $97,600 worth of checks from mail
A Providence man has admitted to stealing checks from United States Postal Service collection boxes and then fraudulently cashing them.
Gerald Reinoso, 22, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail theft and conspiracy to commit bank fraud on Wednesday in connection to a string of incidents in 2017 announced the United States Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island.
According to prosecutors, Reinoso used a method referred to as “fishing,” when he allegedly used sticky devices to retrieve mail from the collection boxes.
Using this method, prosecutors say Reinoso and other individuals stole more than $97,600 worth of checks.
Court documents allege that after Reinoso and others stole the checks, the individuals would deposit the fraudulently-endorsed checks and withdraw the money.
Investigators say U.S. Postal Service Inspectors first became aware of the thefts in May 2017 after multiple complaints outside of the Washington Park Post Office. Then inspectors became aware of a rash of missing mail outside of the Elmwood Station Post Office and installed video surveillance.
That is where prosecutors say they recorded images of Reinoso and others “fishing” the mailboxes in the early morning hours.
Reinoso is scheduled to be sentenced on March 12, 2019.