LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A longtime U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer from Van Nuys is expected in court on Aug. 15 to face federal charges alleging he stole checks worth over $15,000 from a mail facility and arranged to have an accomplice deposit them.
Carlos Canjura, 54, was arrested Tuesday, Aug. 9, without incident by special agents with the FBI and subsequently released on his own recognizance, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The arrest came after Canjura, who has been a customs officer since 2008, was named in an eight-count indictment returned by a Los Angeles federal grand jury last week.
According to the indictment, Canjura was assigned to a U.S. Postal Service sorting facility in Torrance, where his duties included examining mail and parcels coming into the country for contraband, counterfeit goods, and possible fraudulent financial checks or credit cards.
Canjura allegedly stole mail that contained traveler’s checks and third-party checks, giving the stolen checks to an accomplice who deposited them into accounts at Bank of America, prosecutors said.
“Americans must be able to trust officials handling their mail which conveys highly valuable information, to include our identification and financial data,” said Deirdre Fike, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office. “The FBI is committed to holding accountable those, like Mr. Canjura, who abuse their positions of trust and threaten our security for personal gain.”
The indictment against Canjura charges him with four counts of bank fraud and four counts of possession of stolen mail.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell, who ordered the parties to appear Monday for a pretrial hearing.
Each charge of bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and each stolen mail count carries a maximum of five years, prosecutors noted.