Problem gambling is a serious issue which, if left without the appropriate supervision and guidance seeking, could lead to devastating consequences, such as the recent peculiar situation occurring at the North Kenner Post Office. The Manager of Customer Service Operation at the said office supposedly took advantage of his position and illegally obtained stamps worth some $630,000 in an attempt to cover his gambling habit spinning out of control.
It is no surprise to anyone that the theft which took place could be defined as the most prominent one in the history of US Postal Service and its very nature is what makes it stand out even more. Ryan Cortez is the individual who opted for the theft as a last ditch effort to cover his previous gambling expenses. The gaping hole caused by his compulsive gambling tendencies was supposed to be alleviated through the said figure and the stamps stolen by the 46-year-old manager.
Gambling Addiction Robs Him of $650,000
Wednesday saw a federal search warrant being executed at the home where Mr. Cortez lives performed by the special agents of the Postal OIG. The said inspection revealed documents pointing towards the criminal activity, as well as packaging associated with the stamps sold by Mr. Cortez. Soon after that the authorities located the criminal at his work place and arrested him.
According to the information issued publicly, upon his cuffing, he was charged with misappropriation of postal funds or property, which could cost him a hefty fine of $250,000 in addition to up to 10 years in prison as a maximum penalty if he is convicted. The Internet is able to provide information for anyone and everyone, which was also the case in this particular situation. The system of eBay was able to provide agents of the Postal Service with the information that a large number of post stamps are being sold online.
Stamps collectors and people of all age groups are interested in purchasing stamps, which is why the quantities were sold, granting Mr. Cortez some a significant figure in return. The amount was processed with the help of PayPal, further expanding the footprint of his criminal actions. Mr. Cortez is eligible for an annual wage of some $70,818 which is insufficient to cover the accumulated gambling loss of more than $650,000.
State Provides Aid for Those in Need
Once the authorities commenced the detailed investigation of the bank account of the postal office manager chilling information was revealed. Over the span of the past seven years, dating back to 2011 Mr. Cortez has managed to lose some $667,000. The year 2017 was particularly unfortunate for him, as he managed to lose more than $220,000. Withdrawals of capital were mostly done at the Harrah’s Casino venue located in New Orleans.
The venue has on offer a wide array of gaming activities to the liking of some 2,100 slot machines, more than 90 table games, and a poker room. Across as many as 30 days this summer Mr. Cortez was able to burn through about $58,000. Compulsive gambling should not be overlooked as it is able to cause devastating damages not only to the financial situation of the gambling addict but to indirectly affect the individual’s loved ones and close friends.
In the state of Louisiana, gambling treatment is free for the locals and anyone interested in seeking the needed guidance and help is able to do so at the State Association on Compulsive Gambling. There is a hotline established receiving hundreds of calls on a daily basis. Programs for help are also available for those referred to them upon contacting the helpline. According to data issued by the Louisiana State Office of Behavioral Health, more than 200,000 residents of the state experience the negative effects of gaming addiction.