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Man who defrauded Post Office to serve 2 years, pay back funds

A Buffalo man who scammed the U.S. Postal Service out of more than $100,000 before he was caught is headed to federal prison.

Brandon Reynolds, 20, was sentenced to two years in federal prison to be followed by two years of supervised release and also was ordered to pay more than $106,920 restitution in connection with his conviction of conspiracy to commit theft of government money, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. reported Friday.

Reynolds led a scheme between August and December 2010 in which he and others opened various checking accounts at financial institutions using a small initial deposit, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango.

When Reynolds and the others received starter checks for the newly-opened accounts, those involved used the checks to buy large quantities of stamps from the United States Postal Service and resold them to pawn shops and coin dealers. After the postal service processed the checks, they were returned for non-sufficient funds.

During the course of the scheme, federal officials said Reynolds and the others made 140 purchases of stamps from various postal service branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky, resulting in a loss to the postal service of $106,920.54.

Reynolds was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara.