Stop the presses! There’s been another startling display of incompetence by the US Postal Service.
Last October, a guy named Dushaun (that’s right, DOOSHAWN) Henderson-Spruce put in a USPS change of address form. Seems innocent, right?
Wrong! This Dushaun guy asked the Post Office to officially change the address of UPS company headquarters from their real address in Atlanta to the address of his apartment in Chicago. And, believe it or not, the Postal Service actually did it.
As heists go, that’s gotta be simultaneously the cleverest and the laziest I’ve ever heard of.
After the change of address went through, Henderson-Spruce started receiving the UPS Corporation’s mail, including a bunch of checks. This process went on for months, and investigators say ol’ Dushaun deposited at least $58,000 in checks that had been sent to his address because of the change of address.
It took UPS, and the US Postal Service, months to figure out anything was wrong.
To make this story even more hilarious, it seems that Dushaun Henderson-Spruce actually messed up the form a little when he submitted it. He didn’t name himself on the form, except for the initials HS which he wrote on the signature line. But then he scratched out his own initials and replaced them with “UPS”.
And the goons who run the U.S. Postal Service though that was proof enough. And apparently they never thought to ask UPS “Hey, are you guys moving your headquarters to Chicago?” They just processed the form and started forwarding mail to a random Chicago apartment.
Henderson-Spruce received thousands of pieces of mail addressed to UPS’ corporate HQ. He got so much mail that the carrier had to leave it in a tub outside his door. And, once again, nobody thought it was suspicious that UPS had apparently moved their headquarters to a single apartment in the North Side of Chicago.
But I guess they don’t pay the postal workers to ask questions, do they?
The mail carrier who brought him the mail even told investigators that he handed mail directly to Dushaun on occasion. This mail contained business checks and invoices, corporate credit cards, and personal info about company employees. Henderson-Spruce deposited at least ten checks addressed to the company.
This nonsense went unchecked from October 26th 2017 until January 16th of 2018, when UPS company security finally brought the issue to the attention of the US Postal Inspection Service.
On January 25th, postal inspectors searched Dushaun’s apartment and found nearly 3,000 pieces of mail addressed to UPS headquarters. Henderson-Spruce then reportedly told investigators that he had previously worked part-time at a UPS facility back in 2012.
And this wasn’t Dushaun Henderson-Spruce’s first brush with the law; in 2016 he was charged with misdemeanor bank fraud in Evanston, Illinois, for possession of a stolen check.
But not Dushaun is facing federal charges; mail theft, which could get him five years max, and mail fraud, which could put him in the fed-pen for up to 20 years. Crime doesn’t pay, Dushaun.
This case is especially funny because it involves somebody tricking the Postal Service into believing that UPS had moved their headquarters from an office building in Atlanta to an apartment in Chicago, overnight, without informing anybody. But fraudulent changes of address do happen pretty frequently.
Apparently in 2017 the Postal Inspection Service received more than 17,000 (that’s right, seventeen thousand!) complaints relating to fraudulent address changes. And apparently USPS received more than 46,000 inquiries from customers worried about the validity of change-of-address orders, all since January of 2016.
USPS says they processed 37 million change-of-address requests last year, and not all of them turned out to be fraud. In fact, the vast majority were legit.
But still. 17,000 fraudulent claims is a lot. Maybe it’s time the Post Office changed their form to require more than just a set of scribbled initials to prove that you are who you say you are.