Postage scam lands businesswoman in court

It makes one wonder if there isn’t a great deal of similar money-saving scheming going on in the global mail-order-by-internet business. Samantha Keen of Ipswich had an online business selling dried milk products to customers all over the world, and she was using an apparently simple method of saving on her shipping costs: she printed out multiple mailing labels after paying for just one.

The only reason she got caught, according to the Ipswich Star, was that employees of the Royal Mail centre in town began to notice packages with identical labels in October of 2011. They eventually traced them back to Samantha, and she was arrested and charged with false representation in the form of mail fraud.

Helen Korfanty, the solicitor representing Ms Keen, told the court that her client was trying to make money to support her children, four of them with another on the way. She didn’t realize the postage expenses would be so high, and did the only thing she could think of to reduce her costs. The accused admitted to two charges and said she was sorry.

One charge was for the period from August 2011 through October 2012, but the prosecution was unable to confirm any specific amount of postage-fiddling from that period. The other charge was for a specific time during October 21st to 27th, 2012. That one came to £1,800, which the defendant will have to pay back to the Royal Mail.

Along with reimbursement to her customers who paid for and didn’t receive their dried milk, the judge also decreed that Keen would pay court costs of £750 plus £15 to a victim’s fund. Judge Celia Dawson said she suspected the postage fraud had actually amounted to a lot more than the £1,800 stipulated as repayment.