Source: US State of California
Assistant U. S. Attorney Eric R. Olah (619) 546-7540
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – May 23, 2022
SAN DIEGO – U.S. Postal Service employee Dewayne Morris Sr. and his son and namesake are charged in federal court with multiple felony counts of bank fraud and conspiracy in connection with the theft of $5 million in Postal money order forms.
Morris Sr. is charged along with his son, Dewayne Morris Jr., and four others, with conspiring to convert the stolen money order forms into cash.
According to the indictment, Morris Sr., then a supervisor for post offices in Venice, Playa del Rey, and Marina del Rey, ordered and received 10,000 blank Postal money order forms. A subsequent audit revealed that approximately 5,100 of those 10,000 money order forms were missing. With a maximum value of $1,000 per money order, the potential value of the missing money order forms is $5.1 million. Contrary to Morris Sr.’s claim to investigators that he properly returned some of the 10,000 money order forms, the indictment alleges that his son, Morris Jr., distributed the missing money orders to co-conspirators.
The indictment further alleges that the money orders Morris Jr. distributed to co-conspirators were materially altered to appear as if they had been paid for and lawfully issued by a post office, when in fact they had not. Morris Jr. also provided co-conspirators with counterfeit driver’s licenses bearing fictious identities. The co-conspirators used those counterfeit documents to open checking and savings accounts at financial institutions throughout the country, deposited the stolen money orders into the accounts, and withdrew the cash proceeds before the financial institutions detected the fraud.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, Morris Sr. and Morris Jr. are charged with three counts of bank fraud, each of which carries a statutory maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment. Additionally, Morris Jr. is charged with a fourth bank fraud count and an aggravated identity theft count based on a separate scheme involving the personal identifiable information of others.
“The indictment alleges that this father-and-son duo took advantage of the elder’s insider position to steal millions of dollars,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “We and our law enforcement partners are committed to seeking justice in this case and others like it.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General for their hard work on this case.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service remains steadfast in our commitment and dedication to investigate financial fraud and prevent the theft of Postal Service products from criminal attack,” said Carroll Harris, Inspector in Charge of the Los Angeles Division. “We appreciate the collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners, the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, in bringing these defendants to justice.”
DEFENDANTS Case Number 22-CR-1037-WQH
Dewayne Morris, Senior Age: 62 Inglewood, CA
Dewayne Morris, Junior Age: 39 Inglewood, CA
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Conspiracy – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 371
Maximum penalty: Five years in prison; $250,000 fine or twice the pecuniary gain/loss
Bank Fraud – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1344(2)
Maximum penalty: Thirty years in prison; $1 million fine or twice the pecuniary gain/loss
Aggravated Identity Theft – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1028A
Penalty: Mandatory two years in prison
Forfeiture – Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 981(a)(1)(C), 982(a)(2), 982(b) and Title 28 U.S.C. Section 2461(c)
United States Postal Inspection Service
United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General
*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty