Fired DeKalb County police officer faces theft charges
DeKalb County police officer Ghayth Abdul-Mughnee, 30, was arrested Jan. 25 and fired for allegedly stealing from suspects, according to police.
Officials said an investigation began after officers responded to Abdul-Mughnee’s Lithonia home on Jan. 23 for a domestic dispute between him and his live-in girlfriend.
Allegations surfaced during the investigation about the officer’s engagement in illegal activities and detectives later recovered evidence at the home relating to his involvement in thefts.
Detectives allege Abdul-Mughnee, a four-year veteran of the DeKalb County Police Department, had stolen items including electronics, credit cards and identification cards from suspects he encountered while on patrol. Officials were unsure of when the items were taken.
Abdul-Mughnee faces charges of theft by taking, violation of oath of office and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. He is in the DeKalb County Jail.
Shawnta White, 34, also was arrested on Jan. 23 and faces charges related to the domestic dispute, police said.
Former Postal Service employee sentenced for stealing government money
Kenneth Welch, 44, of Cumming, was sentenced to federal prison Jan. 25 for stealing more than $30,000 of government funds, including money meant to be used on a Decatur post office, while working as a contractor for the U.S. Postal Service.
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said Welch engaged in two schemes to defraud the U.S. Postal Service while working for it as a contractor. From August 2010 to December 2010, Welch created fraudulent contracts and paid money to his personal commercial repair and renovation business for services that his company didn’t complete. Welch took money left unused on other valid contracts that was to pay for the completion of construction work at the Decatur Main Post Office and the Warner Robins Post Office, officials said. As a contracting officer, Welch’s responsibility was to re-apply any funds leftover on valid contracts. Instead, he paid more than $13,000 of those remaining funds to himself.
Additionally, from April 2010 to December 2010, Welch used government-issued credit cards to purchase more than $19,000 in luxury gifts for himself and his family, including a golf cart and boat motor.
Welch was sentenced to six months in prison and six months of home confinement, to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $32,577 in restitution and perform 80 hours of community service.
Postal employee and four others indicted for stealing and cashing U.S. Treasury checks
A Lithonia man was one of five people indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 26 for allegedly stealing U.S. Treasury checks from an Atlanta mail distribution center then cashing them by using fake IDs, accoording to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Ohmar Braden, 36, of Lithonia, was indicted along with Deborah Fambro-Echols, 49, of Hapeville; Wendy Frasier, 34, of Atlanta; Daralyn Weaver, 30, of Atlanta; and Jabril McKee, 24, of Fairburn.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said Fambro-Echols worked as a mail handler at the Atlanta Processing and Distribution Center in Hapeville. While on the job, she allegedly stole hundreds of U.S. Treasury checks and provided them to a network of brokers and check cashers who would then cash the checks and split the criminal proceeds with her.
The indictment alleges that in April 2011, law enforcement officials discovered more than 660 treasury checks totaling more than $590,000 in Fambro-Echols’ possession and at her residence in Hapeville. Frasier allegedly acted as a broker for Fambro-Echols and recruited Weaver, McKee and Braden to cash the stolen checks at banks and other businesses.
The seven-count indictment alleges conspiracy, theft of government money, possession of stolen treasury checks, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. The five could face fines of up to $1 million, according to officials.