Mail-Order Firm Accused of Stamp Scam

NEWARK (AP) -

Two New Jersey men used their e-commerce company to defraud the government out of more than $6 million by altering U.S. postage stamps, a criminal complaint released Tuesday alleged.

Jack Koch and Steven Koch were charged with theft of government property and postage-stamp fraud and were scheduled to make an initial court appearance in Newark on Tuesday.

The most serious charge, theft of government property, carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years

Jack Koch, formerly known as Ismail Yilmaz, and Steven Koch, formerly known as Selim Memis, own an e-commerce company based in Wood-Ridge called Fresh N Clear that sells items through Amazon, according to the criminal complaint. Jack Koch resides in Elmwood Park and Steven Koch lives in Pompton Lakes.

The complaint alleges that since the beginning of this year, the company bought more than 240,000 U.S. Postal Service labels and altered them so they could ship larger items such as bottled water, laundry detergent and cases of soda, while still paying a lower, flat rate meant for smaller shipments under 70 pounds.

The company sent about 30,000 packages per month through Amazon Marketplace, according to the complaint.

A phone message was left Tuesday with an attorney representing the men.