Allen pleads guilty to lesser charges

Published 6:18 pm Monday, September 21, 2015

The postmaster of the Buckingham Post Office has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of stealing from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Martin A. Allen, of Dillwyn, recently entered a guilty plea to two counts of petit larceny, according to the Virginia Courts Case Information System and the Buckingham Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

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Allen originally faced two felony counts of embezzlement, and was indicted on the charges in April.

According to the court case information system and the U.S Postal Service, Allen was sentenced to 12 months in jail with all 12 months suspended, two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Buckingham Commonwealth’s Attorney E.M. Wright Jr. said that Allen made restitution, but didn’t elaborate on the amount.

According Freda Sauter, a spokeswoman with the USPS, Allen is still employed by the agency. Sauter wouldn’t elaborate on the details of his employment.

Allen’s sentencing followed an investigation by the postal service’s office of the inspector general (OIG), according to Peter Brown with the inspector’s office.

“Theft of postal funds is a serious crime,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul L. Bowman. “When an employee steals money from the postal service, USPS OIG special agents work quickly to bring an end to the criminal activity.”

According to court documents, the grand jury charged in April that “on or about January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014, in the said County of Buckingham … Martin A. Allen, unlawfully and feloniously, did, wrongfully and fraudulently use, dispose of, conceal, or embezzle property, having a value of $200.00 or more, belonging to [the] U.S. Postal Service, in violation of §18.2-111; of the Code of Virginia (1950) as amended.”

A second direct indictment makes the same allegation for the period “on or about January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.”

Sauter said that while the matter was investigated, Allen was relieved of his duty. “Appropriate actions will be taken, pending results,” she said.

Before Allen was sentenced, Sauter said the postmaster was removed from his “duty office” but not from his position.

“He is currently on-leave without pay and not receiving his annual salary of approximately $66,000,” Sauter said in July.