LAPORTE — A Valparaiso woman could face time in prison on allegations she embezzled money from the U.S. Postal Service while on duty.

Kylie Cavender, 21, is charged in LaPorte Circuit Court with theft and official misconduct.

She's accused of carrying out the scheme while on duty as a part-time flexible clerk at post offices in LaCrosse and San Pierre.

According to court documents, U.S. Postal Service investigators got involved when discrepancies were found in the books at both locations.

The investigation revealed she sold money orders but under-reported the amount they sold for in the post office ledgers and pocketed the difference.

She was the only postal worker on duty when the scheme was carried out between January and July of last year, court records disclosed.

Court documents also state that agents with the USPS Office of Inspector General purchased several money orders from her and the dollar amounts on each one of those also were under reported.

On one occasion, an undercover purchase from her of $49 in stamps was allegedly never recorded.

The shortages in the books totaled more than $2,400 at both post offices combined, authorities said.

According to court documents, Cavender, who is no longer employed as a postal worker, said she used the money for gas, food and to help pay rent.

"Due to a lack of common sense and unfortunate times, I had made a huge mistake of borrowing small amounts of money here and there with the intention of paying it back," she stated in a letter written to postal authorities.

Charges were signed Monday by Judge Tom Alevizos.

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