A local man pleaded guilty last week in federal court to defrauding the U.S. Postal Service. He is Brian Kim, 38, of Fairfax.
He admitted doing so by counterfeiting and selling approximately $76,000 in postage stamps at two packaging centers he owned and operated in Northern Virginia. One is in Fairfax and the other is in Arlington.
In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Kim admitted that, from January to October 2013, he counterfeited postal stamps that had been originally printed on a USPS-authorized postage meter.
He then placed those stamps on packages and letters that customers brought to his packaging centers. Neither the customers who purchased the stamps nor the USPS employees who picked up the packages were aware of Kim’s scheme.
As an example of his wrongdoing, prosecutors cited one representative day at his packaging centers – Aug. 12, 2013 – when Kim caused the mailing of letters and packages bearing 80 counterfeit stamps, with a total value of $395.70. Two months later, on Oct. 15, 2013, postal inspectors seized approximately $23,974.59 worth of counterfeit stamps while executing search warrants at Kim’s businesses.
Last Tuesday, Aug. 5, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Kim pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud before Judge Claude M. Hilton. He now faces as much as 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on Nov. 7. In addition, as part of his plea agreement, Kim has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $76,000, representing the total amount of the illicit gains he received from his fraudulent activities.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney William E. Johnston and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kosta S. Stojilkovic are prosecuting it in court.