Man arrested for allegedly stealing $12,000 in stimulus checks from the mail

April 30, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Man arrested for allegedly stealing $12,000 in stimulus checks from the mail
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Police arrested a Brooklyn man for allegedly stealing U.S. mail, including nine government stimulus checks in Sunset Park, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of New York.

According to the complaint and statements made in court, on the morning of Wednesday, April 28, NYPD officers saw 31-year-old Brooklyn resident Feng Chen allegedly look inside the medical collection bin at a closed medical office and then walk to a nearby residential building and examine mail left at the door.  

He then allegedly walked into the gated area of a second residential building and left carrying what appeared to be mail. Chen saw the police officers and allegedly tossed mail on the sidewalk. The officers searched Chen and recovered checks, Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) totaling more than $12,000, credit cards, opened envelopes and letters from several addresses.

“The NYPD recognizes how the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for a variety of malicious, criminal scams,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. “In this case, I applaud our alert detectives and federal partners for interrupting an alleged scheme to victimize New Yorkers by stealing important mail and stimulus money meant to aid them during this unprecedented crisis.”

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If convicted, Chen faces a maximum of five years’ imprisonment.

“For many families, these stimulus checks are a lifeline in these difficult times and anyone who tries to cut that lifeline will face the full weight of the law,” added United States Attorney Richard Donoghue.  “This office will vigorously prosecute all those who seek to take advantage of the public health crisis.  I commend the NYPD police officers for their truly outstanding work and service under difficult conditions.”

“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is the agency responsible for protecting the integrity of the Internal Revenue Service, including the theft of Economic Impact Payments.  We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to investigate any individual that engages in criminal activity to victimize taxpayers and exploit this national crisis for their own benefit,” said Russell George of TIGTA.

Donoghue urges the public to report suspected fraud related to COVID-19 by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or by emailing NCDF at [email protected].  For information on how to identify or report fraud involving Economic Impact Payments, visit

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