(STL.News) – U.S Attorney Andrew Birge announced that Kristine Marie Jung, 36, of Kalamazoo, Michigan was sentenced yesterday to 48 months’ imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney. Jung was part of a group of individuals in Kalamazoo involved in a “mailboxing” ring. She and her accomplices stole checks, credit cards, driver’s licenses and other identity documents from residential mailboxes, unattended purses and parked cars. They then forged and altered the checks, and used some of them to purchase merchandise at local retail stores. In some cases, they made them payable to people whose identification documents they had stolen, and impersonated those people in order to cash the checks at financial institutions.
In June 2019, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department was alerted that someone had used a local resident’s stolen driver’s license to open a fraudulent account. Using surveillance footage, analysis of bank records, and witness interviews, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service determined Jung was the perpetrator. When Jung was arrested that same month, she was found in possession of stolen checks and identification documents, as well as equipment commonly used in forging and counterfeiting checks. These included chemical solvents, sponges and Exacto blades used to remove ink from checks. Jung confessed she had been committing identity theft to support her methamphetamine habit.
Jung’s sentence included three concurrent 24-month terms for bank fraud and two counts of mail theft. She will also serve a mandatory two year consecutive sentence for aggravated identity theft, because she used another person’s identity in the commission of a felony. Three other Kalamazoo “mailboxers” from Jung’s social circle were sentenced last spring by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff for similar conduct. Beatrice Michael Brown, Shadow Nicole Kornmiller and Jessica Ann Ledger received sentences of 27, 33 and 51 months respectively.
In imposing the four-year total sentence, Judge Maloney noted the defendant’s long history of retail fraud convictions. He also observed that “The security of the Postal System is important to all Americans,” and said those who steal from the mail “need to understand that they will pay a heavy price in the federal court system.” Judge Maloney commended the defendant for finishing her GED while awaiting sentencing, and recommended the Bureau of Prisons house her at a facility with a drug treatment program. “It may be easy to steal from residential mailboxes, but it’s hard to escape punishment. Anyone considering it should realize it’s not worth the price they will eventually pay,” said U.S. Attorney Birge.