Phony Stamps in Fairfax: Two Years Probation

Phony Stamps in Fairfax: Two Years Probation

A local businessman has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service. He is Brian Kim, 38, of Fairfax.

This past summer, he pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding the U.S. Postal Service. 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’s 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.

On Aug. 5, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Kim pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud before Judge Claude M. Hilton. He returned Jan. 9 to learn his punishment.

At that time, the judge sentenced him to two years probation – the first six months of which will include home confinement with work release. Kim must also pay $76,000 in restitution, 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 prosecuted it in court.