The former back-up postmaster at the East Vassalboro Post Office pleaded guilty Monday to stealing mail and embezzling postal money orders.

Jason K. Stockmar, 28, of Augusta, was freed Monday on unsecured bail following the plea in U.S. District Court in Bangor. A sentencing hearing will be set at a later date. Until Monday, Stockmar’s name and documents related to the case were not public.

Stockmar started working for the U.S. Postal Service in July 2011. According to the government’s version of the offense, “In February 2013, the defendant took 20 blank postal service money orders from a safe in the East Vassalboro Post Office. He imprinted the money orders for a total of $19,547.63 and sent them to a company called APMEX along with an order for gold bars.”

Stockmar ordered the bars in the name of a postal clerk in the North Vassalboro Post Office without her knowledge.

That clerk got a letter from APMEX, which led to an investigation into Stockmar and into complaints by postal customers of missing mail. The Vassalboro Historical Society was among the groups reporting that donations to their organizations might have been illegally diverted.

The court document, by Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Todd Lowell, said Stockmar admitted he had “rifled” through 25 to 30 pieces of mail, taking cash, checks and gift cards from mail received at the East Vassalboro Post Office.

The document lists the victims only by initials and details losses, saying Stockmar replaced the payee’s name on checks and money orders with his own name and cashed them for amounts varying from $50 to $600.

It also said he took checks totaling $825 from one organization.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Service-Office of the Inspector General. The charges of theft of mail by employee and embezzlement of a money order each carry maximum penalties of five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Stockmar is represented by defense attorney Virginia Villa, who could not be reached for comment Monday.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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