A United States Postal Service contractor accused of stealing outgoing holiday mail from villagers at postal stations appeared in court last year over an apparent bad debt problem.
Miranda Delee Farleigh, 25, was named in a federal criminal case after undelivered mail bins were found in her bedroom. She said she was addicted to heroin and it fueled her determination to steal the mail in hopes it would bring in money for the drugs.
In addition to a drug problem, it seems that Farleigh also had financial problems.
Last year, Farleigh was sued in federal court by Midland Credit Management Inc., a company that specializes in buying up bad debts from other companies. Midland and Farleigh reached a settlement agreement in July, according to court records.
Farleigh had a postal key and delivered mail from the Lady Lake Post Office to several post offices for half a dozen years. The contract was held by Farleigh’s mother.
Farleigh’s parents went to the postmaster at Lady Lake and demanded a meeting after finding several pots of undelivered mail in their daughter’s room. The mail was delivered to the postmaster.
On November 23, the parents traveled to the Alhambra Postal Station to confront Farleigh. At the station, they found more mail in their daughter’s car.
The next day, a seasoned postal inspector was assigned to the case. Within days, he determined that Farleigh had searched over 4,000 pieces of mail.
“Almost all of the scratched envelopes consisted of outgoing mail that appeared to contain a holiday and/or greeting card,” the investigator wrote in a report, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
In an interview with the Investigator, Farleigh confessed that while working in her official capacity as a letter carrier, she targeted outgoing mail dropped off by residents of The Villages.
“She indicated that she also went to the mailrooms of nearby postal stations that were not on her route, entered the mailrooms and stole outgoing mail” , according to the criminal complaint.