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Federal Case accused Postal Worker of Stealing $78

The federal government spent tens of thousands of dollars prosecuting a postal working accused of stealing $78. The employee was found not guilty by a federal jury, according to ABC affiliate KMGH in Denver

The defendant, Nancy Sitzman, was a 24-year veteran of United States Postal Service, most recently serving at the Park Hill, Colorado, post office. She spent a year suspended without pay while under federal investigation, and is unsure if her employment or pension will be restored following her investigation. Misappropriation of Funds The case against Sitzman included three counts of misappropriation of funds and 17 counts of making false statements. The USPS Office of Inspector General accused Sitzman of stealing $78.29 worth of individual stamps. Sitzman was acquitted of all charges.

Sitzman’s criminal charges were due to her unorthodox system of ringing up individual stamps purchased by postal customers. Because each stamp did not have a barcode, she would ring individual purchases as “No Sale”; when a book of stamps was sold, she would scan that barcode. The money always added up, she says.

Defendant Rejected Plea Agreement

Sitzman’s criminal defense attorney, John Zodrow, said the U.S. Attorney’s office, who prosecuted the case, tried to bully his client into taking an unfavorable plea bargain. Instead, Sitzman, sure of her innocence, exercised her constitutional right to a trial by jury.

Information for the Office of Public Affairs for Federal Courts estimate that the federal government spent $50,000 to $250,000 investigating and prosecuting Sitzman.

The 12 jurors were paid $40 a day for their service, plus parking. That’s more than six fold the amount Sitzman was accused of stealing for each day that the trial went on.

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