Former Utica postal employee sentenced in federal court for embezzlement
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A former employee at a post office in Utica has been sentence in federal court to probation after authorities say she embezzled money from the office. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Donna Hammond-Hayes, 53, currently of Vermont, was sentenced Friday in Federal Court in Syracuse. Hammond-Hayes was sentenced to three years probation in connection with her guilty plea of misappropriation of postal funds. She was also ordered to pay $4,729.02 in restitution, perform 50 hours of community service, and pay a special assessment of $25. Authorities say that on July 30, 2012, Hammon-Hayes admitted that while working at the Kernan Station Post Office on Genesee Street in Utica, she embezzled money from the Post Office. During the plea, Hammond-Hayes admitted that she received cash from a customer for a sale of merchandise, and later, after the post office was closed, processed a refund for the return of the merchandise, and embezzled the money entrusted to her as an employee of the USPS. As part of the plea, she agreed to pay $4,729.02 to the USPS as audits of the post office revealed numerous questionable refunds processed by her and shortages in the overall cash and stamp stock.