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CROWN POINT | A former employee of the United States Postal Service has been charged with two felony counts following an investigation by special agents of the federal Office of the Inspector General.

Letrica Nile, 31, faces charges theft and official misconduct as a public servant, both class D felonies.

She is accused of creating fraudulent refunds of more than $16,000 and pocketing the money during 2013 while an employee of the U.S. Post Office in Hobart. Lake County prosecutors filed the charges last Friday.

Court documents state that Nile created post office postage validation imprint labels that are affixed to mail in lieu of stamps, then processed a refund, although no customer was involved in the transaction. Most of the refunds ranged from $25 to $50 each.

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The special agents found receipts for those transactions in Nile’s trash can at her work site, the documents indicate.

Surveillance video obtained from the Hobart post office by the special agents also showed Nile making those transactions with no customer at the counter and putting cash refunds in her pocket, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Nile told the investigators she needed the money to pay legal expenses for her son who had been arrested for gun possession at River Oaks Mall in Calumet City, the court documents state.

She began working as a sales and service associate at the Hobart post office in October 2012 and had been previously employed at the U.S. Post Office in East Chicago starting in 2010.

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