- Brothers Anwer Fareed Alam, 35, and Yousofzay Fahim Alam, 31, pleaded guilty to defrauding the USPS of more than $2.3 million through fraudulent insurance claims.
- The scheme lasted nearly three years and involved sending USPS Priority Mail packages with $100 insurance to fictitious addresses.
A pair of California brothers pleaded guilty to defrauding the United States Postal Service (USPS) of more than $2.3 million.
Anwer Fareed Alam, 35, and Yousofzay Fahim Alam, 31, of Temecula filed false insurance claims for packages sent by Priority Mail.
The fraudulent activities continued for almost three years, from October 2016 to May 2019, with more than 22,000 claims.
The scam was pretty simple. The brothers would ship USPS Priority Mail packages and pay $100 in insurance coverage for any potential loss or damage.
Brothers Anwer Fareed Alam, 35, and Yousofzay Fahim Alam, 31, pleaded guilty to defrauding the USPS of more than $2.3 million through fraudulent insurance claims.
The scam was pretty simple: The brothers would ship USPS Priority Mail packages and pay $100 in insurance coverage for any potential loss or damage before making a false claim.
Insurance claim checks were mailed to several addresses in Temecula, including 15 different PO boxes located at two different area post offices. Pictured is one of Temecula’s two post offices.
They installed 15 post office boxes divided between Temecula’s two post offices, one of which is seen above.
But the contents of the packages were empty or completely worthless and Anwer Alam sent them to fictitious recipient addresses.
Yousofzay Alam would then submit false insurance claims through the USPS website.
He would falsely claim that the packages contained items of greater value than their actual contents and then make up stories of packages being lost or damaged during transit.
In an attempt to increase the authenticity of the claims, Yousofzay Alam would include fabricated invoices along with photographs of products that were not actually present on the packages.
The brothers would go even further by taking additional steps to conceal their wrongdoing by using aliases and adopting false business names, making it more difficult to track the multitude of fraudulent insurance claims they filed.
The case, investigated by the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, found that When the USPS received one of the brother’s claim forms, the postal service paid compensation to cover the men’s alleged losses of up to $100 in value along with the original shipping costs.
Louis DeJoy, 67, currently serves as the 75th U.S. Postmaster General.
U.S. District Judge Wesley L. Hsu scheduled a sentencing hearing for Nov. 1 for the Alam brothers, at which time they will each face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The insurance claim checks were mailed to several addresses in Temecula, including the brothers’ residential and business addresses, as well as about 15 different PO boxes located at two different post offices.
The brothers then deposited their ill-gotten gains into their bank accounts.
For example, in November 2018, the Alam brothers received a check for $106.59 from Priority Mail.
The scam was so extensive that USPS paid out at least $2,367,033 out of about 22,330 claims.
The brothers who are free on bond will be sentenced in November and each brother will face a maximum legal sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
According to records, the men have no prior felony convictions documented in the federal court system.