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San Diego man pleads guilty to committing $5 million postage fraud scheme

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Posted at 2:00 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 17:14:49-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal conspiracy charge for a scheme that bilked the U.S. Postal Service out of about $5 million in postage due.

Cuong H. Nguyen, 37, admitted to sending more than 160,000 packages while misrepresenting information on postage labels, including misstating the weight, size, destination and origin of the packages, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In his plea agreement, Nguyen admitted to digitally altering, counterfeiting, forging and tampering with various "postage evidencing systems," also known as postage meters, which allow mailers to buy and affix postage labels in advance of depositing them in the mail.

He 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, according to the U.S Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say Nguyen and others paid much less than was owed on 162,221 packages delivered between 2015 and 2019, resulting $5,127,712.88 in underpayment of postage.

Sentencing is slated for July 12. Nguyen faces a maximum possible punishment of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He also agreed to forfeit $862,374 to the United States as profits, proceeds and property obtained directly or indirectly, through the fraud.

"Those who defraud the Postal Service are effectively stealing from the U.S. Treasury and the nation's taxpayers," Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said. "We are committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting these profiteers."