Kalispell couple sentenced to more than 30 months in prison in scheme to steal mail and use stolen credit cards to defraud businesses

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

MISSOULA  — A Kalispell couple convicted in a scheme to steal hundreds of pieces of mail from rural mailboxes in Lincoln and Flathead counties and use credit cards found in the stolen mail to defraud businesses were sentenced to prison terms today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Michael Thomas Kullberg, 34, was sentenced to 31 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Kullberg pleaded guilty in May to theft of mail, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Kullberg’s wife, Jennifer Don Smith, 38, was sentenced to 32 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Smith pleaded guilty in May to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Both Kullberg and Smith were ordered to pay $2,302 restitution, which consisted of the fraudulent charges and reimbursement for stolen mail.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided.

In court documents, the government alleged that on at least two occasions in March and April 2020, Kullberg, while wearing a GPS unit for a previous felony conviction, stole mail and packages from rural mailboxes of at least 300 residents in the Eureka, Libby, Kila and Marion areas. Kullberg also stole at least two credit cards from the incoming mail, and used them, while wearing his GPS unit, to make fraudulent charges at various businesses Eureka and Kalispell.  Smith conspired with her husband to use stolen credit cards taken from the victims’ mail and personally tendered the cards. The investigation found that the stolen mail was dumped along roadways, ditches and other public areas. Dozens of residents reported the loss of packages, letters, bills, outgoing checks and personal identifying information. Kullberg later denied that he stole mail or used anyone else’s credit card without permission. When asked why his GPS unit placed him at the scene of the thefts, Kullberg explained he was driving around fighting with Smith in the car.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Eureka Police Department and Montana Probation and Parole.

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