A onetime Duluth post office mail carrier has been sentenced for saving big money at Menards by stealing rebate checks and other retail rewards from dozens of residents along his route in a string of thefts that he said helped him buy insulation from the store to keep the cold out of his daughter’s bedroom.
Giang Nguyen, 49, of Superior, Wis., was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis to two years of probation, along with restitution payment of more than $1,000 and 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to one count of theft of mail by a postal employee.
In his plea agreement, Nguyen admitted that from March 2010 to January 2011, he removed applications for Menards rebate checks, the actual checks and Menards “Big Money Game” scratch-off cards from the mail of 45 residents on his rural route.
He then used the checks and proceeds from the game cards to make purchases at a Menards in Duluth. He altered the stolen rebate check applications so that Menards would issue the checks to him, rather than to the people on his route.
In all, Nguyen stole at least 77 pieces of mail and converted them into nearly $1,500.
In arguing for leniency before sentencing, the defense noted in a court filing that Nguyen was deeply in debt at the time, was sending money back to his ailing mother in Vietnam and used some of stolen money to buy insulation at Menards for his daughter’s chilly bedroom in their early 1900s house.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482