Feds: Former FedEx manager took goods worth more than $3.25M

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A FedEx driver delivers a cart of packages, Thursday, May 6, 2021, in New York. FedEx is getting hurt by the tight job market. The package delivery company said Tuesday, Sept. 21 that its costs are up $450 million in the most recent quarter, as it paid higher wages as it got harder to find new workers and demand for shipping increased. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Delaware man who stole goods worth more than $3.25 million while working at a FedEx facility has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for interstate transportation of stolen goods and tax evasion.

Prosecutors announced that Joseph Kukta, 45, of Laurel was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison in connection with his theft and resale of shipped merchandise, WMDT-TV reported. Kukta was also ordered to pay more than $1.1 million in restitution and forfeit more than $1.8 million.

Kukta, a senior manager at the Seaford FedEx facility, admitted taking packages and reselling items to co-defendant Saurabh Chawla for about 50% of their retail prices between 2009 and 2019, according to his plea agreement. Kukta would take stolen items to a relative of Chawla in Maryland. Kukta received more than million in illegal proceeds.

In 2018, Kukta also started taking packages from FedEx trailers loaded for delivery to a Rehoboth Beach store, prosecutors said. He’d go to the facility when when employees weren’t there and turn off the lights and block cameras to avoid being seen.

Kukta admitted to evading more than $660,000 in income taxes.

Chawla was previously sentenced to 66 months in prison on charges of conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen goods and tax evasion.

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