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Eight Former Postal Workers Indicted In Alleged Stamp Theft

September 12, 1991

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A federal grand jury handed up indictments accusing eight former Postal Service workers of stealing stamps and other items worth $440,000 they were supposed to destroy, and lying about it.

The case prompted changes nationally on procedures for disposing of outdated stamps.

The indictments Wednesday named the former head of a panel in charge of destroying old stamps, the former marketing chief and the former merchandising manger at the Pittsburgh post office. The others were supervisors, clerks and a custodian.

Seven were fired; the eighth resigned, said Postal Service spokesman Paul Griffo.

The stolen stamps came to light in April, when Postal Service officials found hundreds of thousands of dollars in postage in the homes of two postal employees. Mailbags containing $15,000 to $20,000 more in stamps were found in a ravine.

In all, 14 Pittsburgh office employees were sanctioned.

The then-Pittsburgh postmaster, Donald Fischer, 64, wasn’t implicated in the case but was asked to retire in April as a result.

The case also led Postmaster General Anthony Frank to order postmasters nationwide to send outdated stamps to 12 regional centers for destruction instead of the 73 postal centers doing the job.

Among those indicted were Philip W. Dorsey III, 64, of Pittsburgh, who chaired the stamp-destruction committee. A 36-year Postal Service veteran, he was charged with taking $275,700 worth of stamps, stamped envelopes and other materials last February and March and with falsifying postal records.

If convicted on all counts, Dorsey faces up to 45 years in prison and $1.7 million in fines. He wouldn’t comment on the indictments.

Al Covelli, who led the probe for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, said investigators believe Dorsey used the stamps for himself and also gave some away.

″It wasn’t so much that he was profiting. It’s more a matter of Dorsey wanting to be a nice guy,″ Covelli said.

U.S. Attorney Thomas W. Corbett Jr. said trial was unlikely before December.

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