Postal Worker, Partner Accused of Cashing Over $60K in Stolen Money Orders

A former postal worker is accused of stealing money orders and passing them along to a partner who then cashed them.

Michelle Barbeau, 51, of Brooklyn, Conn. and 40-year-old James Lebel both face federal charges in the case.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, Barbeau worked at the Wauregan Post Office in Plainfield. Investigators believe Barbeau took blank money orders from the post office and printed them in various denominations, then passed them along to Lebel, who cashed them at other post offices. The pair cashed over $60,000 in money orders, investigators said.

Barbeau and Lebel are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Lebel is also charged with four counts of wire fraud.

Barbeau was arrested Thursday and released on a $100,000 bond. Lebel was arrested Wednesday and remains detained pending a hearing on Sept. 26.

The case is under investigating by the US Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General.

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