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Postal employee charged with stealing mounds of coupons, selling them

Updated: September 21, 2011 5:12PM



An employee at a Postal Service processing center in Gary is charged with theft and official misconduct after she took scores of retailer coupons from the mail and resold them on eBay.

Rowena Y. Banks, 47, of Highland, Ind., worked as a mail processing clerk center when the thefts occurred over a two-year period starting in July 2009, court records state.

Authorities said Banks was supposed to sort through “waste mail” to make sure no first-class mail had been mixed in. Instead she stole coupons for stores such as J.C. Penney, Victoria’s Secret, Kohl’s and other businesses, authorities said.

Records from eBay show Banks earned a gross income of $9,380, or $8,989 after fees, from the coupon sales during the two-year time period.

The wife of a Postal Service investigator bought some of the coupons online and had them mailed to her home, records state. The mailers had been addressed to customers in Northwest Indiana ZIP codes.

After initially denying the thefts, Banks admitted she took the coupons and sold them to make money for student loans and rent, records state. A search turned up coupons hidden in her work locker.

The charges are punishable by up to three years in prison.



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