Former U.S. Postal Service worker sentenced for stealing gift cards from mail

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

MISSOULA – A former U.S. Postal Service employee who admitted to stealing gift cards from the mail was sentenced today to two years of probation and ordered to pay $440 restitution, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Lassana Diaby, 54, pleaded guilty in January to an indictment charging him with theft of mail by officer or employee, a felony.

U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided. Judge Christensen followed recommendations in a plea agreement and imposed a probationary sentence.

In court documents, the government alleged that on March 26, 2021, a U.S. Postal Service customer reported items were stolen from a birthday card that was sent to his locking mailbox in Missoula. The sender confirmed that she mailed the card on March 20, 2021 from Whitefish and that it contained a $200 gift card to Costco, two $100 gift cards to Amazon and $40 cash. An investigation determined that Diaby presented his Costco membership card and the gift card to complete a purchase at the Costco in Missoula. At the time, Diaby worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail processing clerk and completed night shifts on March 20 to 23, including working several hours in the manual letter sorting section.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

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