WASHINGTON TWP., MIch. (WJBK) -
A Washington Township man is accused of scamming the US Postal Service out of more than $400,000 - using a scheme to underpay for postage.
It's an elaborate scam against the US Postal service and the feds allege it was being run out of a Washington Township house which coincidentally Thursday had a package sitting on the front porch.
What is surprising is how investigators claim suspect Mark Rivera pulled it off.
He is accused of stealing nearly half a million dollars from the postal service by underpaying for postage. According to the complaint, the Riveras' business called Advanced Business which sold cash register tape, used counterfeit labels to ship the products.
Counterfeit Priority mail labels were being placed over first class mail labels, which dropped the cost of the postage.
Rivera would then strategically place "Fragile handle with care stickers" over the postage to avoid scanners and ultimately fool the post office.
The investigation revealed out of 872 parcels mailed during a certain time frame, about 99 percent were marked with fraudulent labels.
"I had no idea didn't know," said neighbor Jeremy Lee.
The complaint says when federal investigators searched this house - they seized several items including a scale and a roll of tape marked "fragile handle with care" .
Rivera did not come to the door to answer our questions, but that box was quickly taken inside.
Rivera has been charged with counterfeiting postage meter stamps on an estimated 31, 000 packages, costing the post office around $437,000.