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NEW YORK – Investigators in New York have charged four mail carriers who they say stole the mail they were supposed to deliver, and then went on a spending spree.

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An indictment accused 10 people of playing a part in the theft, four of them mail carriers. At the center, prosecutors say, was a man named Michael Richards who recruited postal workers to steal more than 1,000 unopened credit cards, WNBC reported. The crimes are alleged to have happened between January 2017 and August 2019.

Investigators say the suspects used online databases to learn information about the credit cardholders so they could activate the cards and spend money at luxury retailers, WABC reported. Prosecutors say the cards were used for subscription databases like LexisNexis and Transunion, as well as stores like Hermes, Bloomingdale’s and Louis Vuitton.

In a statement, prosecutors said they uncovered the fraud in February 2019 when a credit card company noticed new cards not reaching their owners.

Each of the defendants in the case has pleaded not guilty.