Man’s checks leave $300,000 of postage due

first_imgHe received the lower-priced postage for bulk mailing. “Usually our biggest customers, we know who they are – and they pay their bills,” Putnam said. “We don’t really see this kind of crime. This is very rare.” Owen isn’t talking to investigators. Awaiting a court appearance today, he is jailed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles. “We know his business was in Torrance, but at this point we don’t know where he lives, and he won’t provide that information to us,” Putnam said. Federal authorities arrested Owen on Oct. 3 at his office at 370 Amapola Ave. Besides Nova Net Media, Owen also operated a firm called OG Investments, Putnam said. A company profile on the Internet says Nova Net Media provides management-consulting services. The profile says the business opened in 2001, does estimated annual sales of $3 million and employs 15 people. A grand jury indictment issued Sept. 28 charged Owen with five counts of theft of government property – more specifically that he “knowingly stole, purloined and converted to his own use property of the United States, that is, bulk mailing services provided by the U.S. Postal Service.” The indictment lists the amounts of his checks as $89,320, $65,097.65, $66,695.24, $63,807.44 and $22,319.22. The grand total: $307,239.55. In addition to a prison sentence, Owen also could be ordered to pay for stolen postage and additional penalties if he is convicted. “Hopefully, this arrest serves as a deterrent to others who would consider stealing from the Postal Service,” Inspector in Charge B. Bernard Ferguson said in a statement. “The Postal Inspection Service aggressively investigates crimes against the post office and is committed to bringing perpetrators to justice.” Putnam said people who walk up to a post office counter and bounce checks for smaller amounts also are prosecuted. “We know who you are. It’s your mail coming through,” Putnam said. “It doesn’t make any sense.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TORRANCE: More than 1 million letters were delivered for company chief, but payments did not clear. By Larry Altman STAFF WRITER By the time Torrance businessman Kenneth Dewayne Owen made his fifth visit to a Long Beach post office last year, he had mailed more than 1 million letters. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThe postage came to more than $300,000, and Owen wrote checks to cover the cost. The post office diligently delivered every letter. But when the Postal Service cashed Owen’s checks, they bounced, prosecutors said. Now, Owen, the 43-year-old president and chief executive officer of a company called Nova Net Media Inc., is sitting in a jail cell in Los Angeles, possibly facing 10 years in federal prison. “That is a lot of mail,” said Tracy Putnam, a postal inspector for the Postal Inspection Service. “We did our diligence. We delivered that mail in the belief that the funds were going to be good.” For about a week, Owen brought his boxes of mail to the back business loading dock of the Long Beach Processing and Distribution Center in September 2006, prosecutors said. last_img