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Ex-postal unit contractor pleads guilty to cashing checks

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The former contractor operator of the Pojoaque postal unit pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to a criminal misdemeanor of cashing checks from customers payable to the U.S. Postal Service totaling $536 and depositing them into her personal account.

Joann Serna, 78, entered the guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Schneider.

She was charged in a grand jury indictment with 38 counts of embezzling the proceeds of sales from post office box rentals totaling almost $12,000.

In the plea agreement, she admits depositing a total of $11,860.03 in payments for postal services into an account at the First National Bank of Santa Fe that she was not legally entitled to have. She agrees to pay restitution in that amount in the agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Serna had the contract for the postal unit from 2003 to 2008.