By: JUlie Caponigro
A Spring Valley resident has been arrested on charges of cheating the U.S. Postal Service out of more than $118,000. He is believed to have done so by using duplicate shipping labels to ship his cellphone accessories that he sells in his online business.
The resident in question goes by Yehuda Shechter, he is 39 years of age and was taken into custody on Tuesday morning. He was later released on a $75,000 bond.
Schechter allegedly carried out the postage fraud while working on for a website known as BvHcell.com. He apparently exploited a loophole in the Postal Service’s system by using his computer to print out duplicate shipping labels. By doing this he escaped paying full postage rates for years.
The fraud was discovered upon the receival of a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in White Plains. It was reported that Schechter opened a postage account with the Endicia website on December eighteenth of 2008. However, after this date he did not produce the first duplicate label until August fifth of 2009.
After that, however, the pace of Schechter’s fraud scheme escalated quickly, the complaint says. For nearly three years Schechter allegedly produced duplicate labels for nearly 10,000 pieces of mail through the website. Doing so wound up costing the Postal Service around $38,907. All of this information is according to the complaint filed.
In April 2012, Schechter closed his account with the company. A month later, however, he opened another account with another website. He was now utilizing Stamps.com for the same scheme. He allegedly created duplicate shipping labels for around 25,000 pieces of mail. These fraudulent shipping labels cost the Postal Service around $80,000.
Postal inspectors staked out Schechter at his home for a week in April 2012. After this, authorities set up a “sting.” This sting was to fool Schechter into giving the police evidence. In the sting, an undercover agent bought two cellphone chargers from Schechter’s company. The authorities found the shipping labels to both have Spring Valley return addresses. Furthermore, both shipping labels carried unique codes that had been used previously. BvHcell.com, his company, was still active on Friday.
On Friday Schechter was asked for a statement. He reportedly commented “I have nothing to say.
Schechter’s lawyer, Jason Ser, declined to comment when asked. Schechter faces up to five years in prison if convicted. However he will likely serve a lesser term.