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Friday, Oct 20, 2017
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Lacoochee postal chief stole $6,900 in receipts

—For two years, the head of the Lacoochee Post Office in northeast Pasco County was embezzling money from her cash drawer.

When she was caught, Wendy D. Williamson first tried to blame her daughter, according to a plea agreement signed by Williamson and filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa.

Williamson, 49, of Dade City, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of theft of government property, which carries up to 10 years in federal prison, according to her plea agreement..

Williamson worked at the post office from July 2006 to Dec. 4, 2013. Beginning Oct. 1, 2011, Williamson began stealing from the post office, taking more than $6,900.

She then lied on government forms, stating she had fully deposited each day’s entire receipts.

“We are always disappointed when employees don’t maintain the integrity and dedication exhibited by the majority of Postal Service employees,” said Enola Rice, spokeswoman for the postal service, who said Williamson’s title was postmaster relief at the Lacoochee Post Office.

When confronted by investigators in April, Williamson said she had allowed her daughter inside the post office, and her daughter took money from the cash drawer. Agents then interviewed her daughter, who denied taking money and said she had seen her mother stealing.

Agents interviewed Williamson again, and she admitted her previous statements were inaccurate and that she has stolen the money, according to the plea agreement. Williamson said she had returned some of the money, but had been unable to make up for the total theft.

Williamson is scheduled to enter her guilty plea July 7.

Earlier this month, another postal employee pleaded guilty to stealing tax refund checks from the mail.

Luis Angel Gonzalez, 48, of Land O’ Lakes, worked as a mechanic at the Tampa Processing and Distribution Center on Bessie Coleman Boulevard, according to his plea agreement, which says he “was involved” with someone who committed stolen identity refund fraud.

In that fraud, thieves use stolen personal information, such as Social Security numbers and birth dates, to file bogus tax returns to trick the federal government into sending them fraudulent refunds.

Gonzalez stole refund checks from mail trays, including some from a collection that had been set aside for investigation by postal inspectors. Postal inspectors in Tampa have prevented hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent refund checks from reaching criminals.

esilvestrini@tampatrib.com

813-259-7837

Twitter: @ElaineTBO

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