GREAT FALLS – A former U. S. Postal Service worker who admitted going through mail and stealing cash and gift cards from envelopes was sentenced on Sept. 3 to two years of probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $2,065 restitution, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said today.
Amanda Holland, 38, of Sunburst, pleaded guilty in May to theft of mail by a postal employee and destruction of mail by a postal employee.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.
In court documents filed in the case, the prosecution said that Holland began working in January 2017 for the U.S. Postal Service as a part-time employee in the Sweet Grass and Sunburst post offices, where she assisted customers, processed money orders and sorted mail for delivery. In early 2019, the Postal Service received several reports from individuals indicating that cash and greeting cards sent through the Sweet Grass office did not reach their destinations. Some individuals reported that the envelopes were delivered but that they had been torn open and resealed and were missing cash.
An investigation using test mailings with envelopes containing gift cards and surveillance cameras led to Holland. The gift cards were redeemed to buy jewelry, clothes and candy, and the cameras showed Holland acting suspiciously while working, including placing mail in her apron and cash in a personal bag.
When interviewed by law enforcement, Holland initially denied knowing anything about the mail thefts but then admitted to taking money about three to four times a week, including stealing $30 that day prior to the interview. Holland told law enforcement she would target what appeared to be holiday or birthday cards, open and take items of value, attempt to reseal the envelopes and throw them away if she could not.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.