2 Illinois men charged in $16M mail scheme

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CHICAGO — Several owners of bulk-mailing businesses in Illinois are accused of pocketing millions by charging companies for 80 million pieces of mail and never actually paying the U.S. Postal Service.

A Monday statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago says the scheme by three men between 2010 and 2015 cost the Postal Service at least $16 million. It allegedly involved forging signatures and using an official Postal Service stamp to make it appear the postage had been paid.

Those charged are 58-year-old Yogesh Patel, from Orlando, Florida; 57-year-old Arvind Lakkamsani, of Northbrook; and 51-year-old David Gargano, of Barrington. Each is charged with mail fraud and, if convicted, could face maximum sentences of 20 years in prison.

Reached Monday evening, attorneys for all three men declined comment.

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