DC postal employee steals nearly $1.7 million from residents, prosecutors claim

D.C. residents along one affluent neighborhood postal route have lost thousands of dollars in recent months to a United States Postal Service worker at the Friendship Post Office Station, court documents allege.

The civil forfeiture filing, which is not a formal indictment of any person, ordered the seizure of $402,669.95 from the bank account believed to be operated by postal employee Hachikosela Khose Muchimba on or after Tuesday.

Officials believe the amount may be less than half of the total amount of fraudulent deposits made across eight bank accounts.

“He deposited approximately 98 misappropriated checks into those accounts with an aggregate value of $1,697,909.52. At least 90 of those misappropriated checks were U.S. Treasury checks,” the filing said.

Investigators included checks stolen from residents dating back to Dec. 13, 2021 — Muchimba was first employed as a mail carrier on Feb. 16, 2020, and was assigned to the route in question beginning on Jan. 31, 2021.

Investigators believe Muchimba altered checks from the U.S. Treasury and added his name and address before depositing them to bank accounts via mobile apps.

After a search warrant was served on March 29, law enforcement also recovered receipts for the deposit of more than $400,000 into an Olney, Maryland bank account, the filing states.

Prosecutors argue that Muchimba was pinned as a potential account holder after a person noticed that the name signed to an altered check matched holiday cards provided by Muchimba to residents last December.

The filing also depicts the mail carrier at local ATMs, making withdrawals of up to $1,000 from the named accounts.

“Surveillance photographs captured the same person withdrawing $1,000 … on four subsequent dates: Sept. 20, Sept. 22, Sept. 28 and Oct. 6,” the filing said. “In three of the surveillance photographs, the person appears to be wearing U.S. Postal Service clothing typically worn by employees.”

Officials with the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General told our news partners at NBC Washington that an investigation is ongoing, and a representative for USPS said the employee remains on the rolls of the USPS. Filings from the attorney general, however, call Muchimba a “former” postal service employee.

WTOP has reached out to the USPS for comment on the investigation.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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