Former postmaster admits thefts - The Buffalo News

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Former postmaster admits thefts

An Eden man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the U.S. Postal Service.

Michael Kozina, the former postmaster at the Lawtons post office, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio to misappropriation of postal funds by a postal service employee, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said.

Kozina, 57, accepted cash payments for money order purchases from more than a dozen customers while serving as postmaster between April of 2005 and July of 2012, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr.

Instead of depositing that cash, Kozina kept a portion of the money – totaling $13,760 – and falsified records to cover his tracks, prosecutors said.

Kozina also stole $13,585 in post office box rental payments between 2009 and July of last year.

“No person is above the law,” Hochul said in a prepared statement. “This office will not permit a representative or employee of any level of government to misuse their position for personal gain.”

Kozina faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced before Chief U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny.

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