A United States Postal Service contractor charged with stealing Villagers’ outgoing holiday mail from postal stations was in court last year over an apparent bad debt issue.
Miranda Delee Farleigh, 25, has been named in a federal criminal case after tubs of undelivered mail were found in her bedroom. She said she was addicted to heroin and that fueled her determination to steal the mail in hopes it would yield money for drugs.
In addition to a drug problem, it appears Farleigh also had financial issues.
Last year, Farleigh was sued in federal court by Midland Credit Management Inc., a company that specializes in purchasing bad debt from other companies. Midland and Farleigh reached a settlement agreement in July, according to court records.
Farleigh had a postal key and was delivering mail from the Lady Lake Post Office to multiple postal stations for half a dozen years. The contract was held by Farleigh’s mother.
Farleigh’s parents went to the Lady Lake Postmaster and asked for a meeting after finding several tubs of undelivered mail in their daughter’s bedroom. The mail was turned over to the postmaster.
On Nov. 23, the parents went to the Alhambra Postal Station to confront Farleigh. At the postal station, they found more mail in their daughter’s car.
The following day, a veteran postal inspector was assigned to the case. Within days, he determined that Farleigh had rifled through more than 4,000 pieces of mail.
“Nearly all of the rifled envelopes consisted of outgoing mail that appeared to hold a holiday and/or greeting card,” the investigator wrote in a report, according to a criminal complaint on file in U.S. District Court.
During an interview with the investigator, Farleigh confessed that while she had been working in her official capacity as a mail carrier, she had targeted the outgoing mail that was dropped off by residents in The Villages.
“She advised she also had driven to nearby postal station mail rooms that were not on her route, entered the mail rooms, and stolen the outgoing mail,” according to the criminal complaint.