35 city pension checks lost in mail

U.S. Postal Service says it doesn't suspect fraud


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – About 35 pension checks mailed to retired Jacksonville city employees are missing, but the U.S. Postal Service said it does not suspect mail fraud as initially believed.

Stephen Seewoester, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service in Dallas, said there was an active fraud investigation into a completely unrelated matter Monday morning. He said a post office employee relayed that information to a Jacksonville City Hall employee, who mistakenly made the connection to the 35 missing pension checks.

The fraud investigation Seewoester was referring to has been resolved, but he would not release details about it.

Seewoester said the post office does not suspect fraud right now in the missing pension checks, but said it's just a case of missing mail and money.

"The city became aware of missing pension and guardianship checks that had been mailed," city spokesman David DeCamp said in a statement. "The city immediately acted to begin placing stop-payment orders on affected checks. In addition, the city will reissue checks to affected parties as soon as possible to protect their interests." 

Out of about 4,800 of retired Jacksonville city employees receiving pensions, about 250 receive pension checks in the mail. All the others use direct deposit.

Of those 250 expecting pension payments in their mailbox, about 35 have not received their checks.

"The city is not aware of any cases where the checks have been cashed," DeCamp said. "We will remain focused on taking all action necessary to protect the city from any losses and ensure the highest levels of customer service."