Investigators on Tuesday said more than a dozen people were charged with forgery in the mail theft ring. Three more suspects were recently arrested on organized crime charges.
authorities believe the scheme has operated since 2007. Checks were stolen from mailboxes of residences and apartment buildings. The thieves would then hire homeless and low-income people to cash the altered checks at Houston-area businesses - in exchange for a percentage of the money.
U.S. Postal Service inspectors are working with the sheriff's department on the investigation.
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