A United States Postal Service supervisor from New York has been arrested for selling sports cards federal prosecutors say had been stolen from the mail system. John Bu was arrested Thursday and appeared in White Plains federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy, who released Bu after he posted bail.
BU, 38, has been charged with one count of possessing stolen mail, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.
Inspectors from the U.S. Postal Service say Bu re-sold cards he’d purchased from a USPS employee who was arrested for mail theft several years ago, knowing the cards were stolen. The other employee had been Bu’s supervisor.
According to the complaint, a victim told prosecutors he’d sent two packages of cards to Beckett Grading early in 2009 but the packages never made it to the company’s Dallas headquarters. The victim told investigators he had dropped the packages into collection boxes in Brooklyn.
Another package he’d sent off for grading late in 2008 was returned to him after Beckett encapsulated the cards, but upon delivery was found to be missing a 2001 Bowman Albert Pujols rookie.
In November of last year, investigators say Bu sold numerous cards to a Westchester shop for $6,250 on two separate occasions. Included was a 1971 Thurman Munson that had been graded mint 9 by Beckett, another mint graded 1980-81 Larry Bird/Magic Johnson rookie, the Pujols rookie card, a 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle and a 1965 Topps Mantle. The cards were among those listed as missing by the victim in the case.
When questioned by agents with the Postal Inspector, investigators say he first told them he had only sold around $500 worth of cards and was only a collector but changed his story when confronted with the evidence.