Newark woman admits possessing stolen mail

TRENTON, NJ — An Essex County woman admitted to unlawfully possessing stolen mail in Hunterdon and Monmouth counties, acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig announced Feb. 17.

Michele Dearaujo, 37, of Newark, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Anne Thompson to two counts of unlawfully possessing stolen mail.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, on Oct. 14, 2020, a mailbox in Hunterdon County was tampered with in the early morning; the victim had been expecting replacement credit cards to be delivered by mail. The victim later learned the credit card had been fraudulently used to purchase merchandise worth hundreds of dollars. The merchandise was to be shipped to Dearaujo at her address.

The investigation revealed that Dearaujo had stolen mail from several residences in New Jersey. Dearaujo admitted in Hunterdon and Monmouth counties, she unlawfully possessed mail which had been stolen, knowing that it had been stolen.

The counts of unlawful possession of stolen mail each carry a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for June 14.