In a warning to businesses that the security of the public postal service can never be completely guaranteed, and that sending cheques in the post is not risk free, a sorting office worker managed to steal post worth £2.3 million in the largest theft ever perpetrated on the Royal Mail by one individual.
Over a three-year period, the postman targeted letters addressed to businesses based in the City of London, including law firms, and stole cheques with values ranging from £50 to £110,000. The cash was laundered through a string of bank accounts and the sophisticated scam was only brought to an end when a Royal Mail fraud investigation team used secret cameras to catch him in the act.
He was jailed for eight and a half years after being convicted of theft, possession of articles for use in fraud and having criminal property. The facts of the case emerged as the Court of Appeal ruled that sentence excessive, reducing it to six years. The Court noted, “Never has there been theft from the Royal Mail by one individual on this scale. This was rightly regarded as theft on a grand scale.”