GREENEVILLE — Federal prosecutors have charged a Piney Flats man with mail fraud in connection with a scheme where he used more than $200,000 in counterfeit postage over a two-year period.
Jason Matthew Smalling is expected to plead guilty next week to a one-count information charging him with mail fraud. The information was filed in U.S. District Court in Greeneville on Oct. 7. Mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to court documents, Smalling operated a business from his home in Piney Flats called Value Decals, wherein he created and sold vinyl decals, some being generic images with others being the logos of professional sports teams, including those of Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.
Prosecutors say the logos of the professional sports teams were unlicensed reproductions.
From August 2011 until June 2013, Smalling created fake team logos and counterfeit postage on a computer, received orders through his business’ website and shipped them Priority Mail through the U.S. Postal Service, court records state.
Smalling used computer software to reproduce informationbased indicia from postage obtained through Stamps.com? , manipulating the address information, but using the same bar-coded information from the original postage.
In other words, Smalling mailed hundreds of packages without paying for the postage.
According to the plea agreement, on May 15, Smalling sent 312 Priority Mail packages with fake postage from the Bluff City post office.
Smalling and prosecutors agree the scheme defrauded the U.S. Postal Service of at least $200,000 but not more than $400,000.
Federal agents have seized more than $26,250 from three of Smalling’s SunTrust bank accounts and $600 in cash on the day of his arrest.
Value Decals’ website is still active and has dozens of generic logos for sale, but all professional sports-related logos have been removed.