MADISON (WKOW) — A former employee of a U.S. Postal Service contractor has been charged with mail fraud after being accused of stealing gift cards from mail sent to Edgewood College students.
Kevin T. Funches is charged with felony mail fraud, a misdemeanor count of theft and a misdemeanor count of unauthorized opening of letters.
The investigation began after a tip to a U.S.P.S. hotline in September 2018 from the Edgewood College security director who said there had been an increasing number of complaints of missing mail by students, specifically greeting cards, according to a criminal complaint.
To track the thefts, investigators sent greeting cards containing gift cards to non-existent students at Edgewood. The cards were then marked return to sender.
Investigators later did a balance inquiry on the cards and found they had been used. After contacting the store, they obtained surveillance images of the person using the cards, according to the complaint.
Investigators also learned that employees from a contractor, United Mailing Services, sorted mail transported from Edgewood to the main Madison postal service carrier annex.
Two employees of United Mailing Services positively identified the man in the surveillance photos as Funches, who had been fired in December 2018 for stealing mail after he was observed taking mail to his personal vehicle.
After being interviewed, Funches admitted using the gift card and said he had a lapse in judgment and would cooperate with investigators.
Funches is due in court for an initial appearance June 27.