A Chicago man has been charged for allegedly conspiring with the postal service to steal and sell CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus stimulus checks.
According to an indictment in a federal court in Chicago, Akeem Kosoko, 26, was charged with one count of conspiracy to steal mail and government funds, three counts of embezzlement of government property, and three counts of receipt of stolen mail.
The indictment says that from March 2019, Kosoko allegedly conspired with his brother, Ahmed Kosoko, 35, of Chicago, a postal carrier, and others to have U.S. Treasury checks taken from the mail and sold to others. The checks were issued last year as part of the CCP virus aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).
Kosoko’s brother was previously charged by federal criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to steal mail and government funds.
Kosoko allegedly changed the recipients’ names of the checks, recruited individuals with bank accounts, and deposited the stolen checks.
He allegedly deposited at least two of the fraudulent checks, amounts ranging from about $2,400 to $3,400. He also allegedly sold at least three of the stolen checks last May, according to the indictment.
CCP virus stimulus aid related crimes have spiked since last year. For those who believe their first-round ($1,200) or second-round ($600) stimulus payment was lost, stolen, or destroyed, they can request the IRS to run a “payment trace” to find out where the money went.