David Ernest Epps

David Ernest Epps

ENID, Okla. — A 55-year-old Enid man charged this week with felony embezzlement is accused of taking more than $1,900 from the postal service through his employment at the Covington Post Office.

David Ernest Epps was charged Monday in Garfield County District Court. Records show he faces up to two years imprisonment, up to a year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted of the charge.

Online court records show Epps posted $5,000 bond and is set for arraignment on the charge Thursday.

According to an affidavit filed in the case by United States Postal Service Special Agent Jeffrey Laffin, a Feb. 22, 2019, on-site financial audit by Enid Postmaster Wendell Brown found the Covington Post Office had a cash/stamp-stock shortage of $1,994.32.

The internal USPS electronic database showed multiple postal money orders assigned to the Covington Post Office were being cashed and clearing the Federal Reserve Bank prior to being entered as sold, or issued, in the USPS retail system, according to the affidavit. This included two money orders printed Nov. 16, 2018, for $800 each that cleared the FRB on Nov. 28, 2018. Handwriting on the money orders showed they were remitted by Epps and made payable to Enid Home Sellers.

A daily financial report filed by Epps at the Covington Post Office shows Epps did not issue the postal money orders until Dec. 3, 2018, and he did not make a bank deposit of the cash for the two orders until Dec. 3, 2018, according to the affidavit.

In a Feb. 21, 2019, interview with Laffin, Epps said the two money orders were printed by him in his capacity as a postal clerk and were used to pay a security deposit and first month's rent on his personal residence in Enid, according to the affidavit. Epps admitted to making false entries on USPS financial reports and engaging in a money order "kiting" scheme, in which he used cash proceeds from postal money order sales to pay for money orders he previously failed to issue on the day they were sold.

A review of daily financial records for Covington Post Office from Nov. 15, 2018, to Feb. 20, 2019, shows every false entry made regarding the issuance of postal money orders were made by Epps, according to the affidavit.

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains. He can be reached at crains@enidnews.com.

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