Former St. Louis postal worker pleads guilty to bank fraud and mail theft

Guilty Plea news graphic

 A former employee of the U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday admitted stealing checks from the mail and depositing them in her own account. 

Porcia Denise Rhodes, 27, of St. Louis, Missouri, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to one count of bank fraud and one count of theft of mail by an employee of the U.S. Postal Service. 

Rhodes, who was a mail processing clerk at the time, admitted stealing about 21 checks. Rhodes then scratched out the payee’s name and wrote in her own before depositing the checks into her personal bank account. The checks were valued at $5,035. In one example listed in Rhodes’ plea agreement, she intercepted a birthday card containing a $500 check that a Troy, Illinois woman was trying to mail to her grandson in Florida. 

Rhodes is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 12, 2024, by U.S. District Court Sarah E. Pitlyk. The bank fraud charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both. The theft charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Lane is prosecuting the case.