The former postal employee accused of stealing gift cards and cash from an Evansville mail processing facility has been sentenced in the case.
52-year-old Ann Gauer pled guilty to one count of mail theft after admitting to stealing cash and gift cards from more than 50 envelopes.
She was facing five years in prison, but a judge sentenced her to just two years probation.
After receiving several complaints about missing items from consumer mail, special agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General began watching employees at the sorting facility on Petersburg Road.
On February 12, those agents witnessed Gauer taking items from a mail sorting bin. When she was confronted, Gauer had several stolen gift cards in her pocket.
She apologized to the victims on Tuesday and asked to be sentenced to probation because she has no criminal history and has a long history of mental health issues. The U.S. Attorney's Office asked for her to be sentenced to nine months in prison.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said postal workers were watching this case closely and a strong sentence would send a message and deter others to steal from the mail.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says they respect the judge's decision because postal employees are held to a higher standard, and when they break that trust, they will be prosecuted.
As a part of her two year probation, Gauer will spend six months in a halfway house. She was also ordered to pay a total of $130 in restitution to two of her victims and pay a $500 fine.