Article: Online Vendor Pleads Guilty to $5 Million Postage Fraud Scheme

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Online Vendor Pleads Guilty to $5 Million Postage Fraud Scheme

Daniel C. Silva, 13 April 2021

SAN DIEGO ­– Cuong H. Nguyen pleaded guilty in federal court today to conspiring to engage in a wide-ranging postage counterfeiting, forging, and tampering scheme that, over the course of multiple years and more than 160,000 packages, deprived the U.S. Postal Service of approximately $5 million of postage due and owing.

Special Agents from U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Financial Investigations and Border Crimes Task Force (the “FIBC” – a multiagency Task Force based in San Diego and Imperial Counties, and funded by the Treasury Executive Office of Asset Forfeiture) led the investigation.

As admitted in the plea agreement entered today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Allison H. Goddard, Cuong digitally altered, counterfeited, forged, and tampered with various “postage evidencing systems”—i.e., postage meters. These postage meters are intended to expedite the delivery and shipment of USPS packages by allowing mailers to purchase and affix postage labels in advance of depositing them into the mail. Nguyen primarily used the postage evidencing system known as Click-N-Ship® when sending packages of beverages and food products from his businesses in San Diego.

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