Chicago man, mail carriers stole stimulus checks to convert into cash: feds

Stimulus check theft
Akeem Kosoko, seen in an image provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Photo credit Federal Court Records

CHICAGO — A 26-year-old Chicago man conspired with U.S. Postal Service carriers to intercept government stimulus checks to convert them into cash, federal prosecutors say.

An indictment returned this week charges Akeem Kosoko with one count of conspiring to steal mail and government funds; three counts of embezzlement of government property and three counts of receiving stolen mail, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago announced Tuesday.

Stolen stimulus funds, according to the feds. Photo credit Federal Court Records

Prosecutors say Kosoko conspired with his brother, a postal carrier, and other carriers to have U.S. Treasury checks taken from the mail. The checks — meant for other recipients — were issued last year as part of the federal government’s stimulus program, officials said.

The indictment says some of the stolen checks ranged in value from $1,200 to $3,400. Kosoko allegedly altered the checks so that they had different payees.

He would deposit the checks in a bank account or conspire with others to have the proceeds deposited into bank accounts and then made withdrawals, prosecutors said. Kosoko also sold the checks directly to people, the indictment says.

Many of the alleged offenses occurred in May 2020.

An arraignment has not been scheduled, federal prosecutors said.