A Lowville woman was sentenced Monday to probation and weekends in jail for stealing more than $20,000 from the U.S. Postal Service while working as postmaster at Natural Bridge.
Erin Woolschlager, 36, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, to five years probation and 10 weekends in jail after pleading guilty May 23 to misappropriation of postal funds. She was also ordered to pay $21,705 in restitution and perform 200 hours of community service.
According to court documents, Mrs. Woolschlager, a postal employee since 1999, admitted that in December 2009 she began using Postal Service money orders, for which she did not pay, for her personal use. She admitted cashing 105 money orders, totaling $14,372, without purchasing or processing them through the St. Louis Federal Reserve, in violation of federal code.
She admitted she deposited some of the funds into her personal checking account. She also made her car and mortgage payments, paid doctors bills and a utility bill, repaid a loan from a cousin and bought a $500 puppy, among other purchases. She also admitted stealing an additional $6,500 in postal funds, acknowledging that she owes the Postal Service $21,705.
The U.S. Attorneys Office said the investigation of Mrs. Woolschlager began in March 2010 when special agents with the Postal Services Office of Inspector General reviewed records and conducted an audit of the Natural Bridge Post Office as a result of numerous money orders being processed after the date they were cashed. According to court documents, Mrs. Woolschlager admitted she used money from the sale of postage stamps to customers to help repay the money orders for which she had not deposited funds.