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Man faces charges in mail scam

Jason Cato
| Thursday, April 13, 2006

The mail arrived at Freddie S. Hill's Savannah, Ga., home like clockwork since 1966 - before noon, every day except Sunday.

That all stopped in March 2005.

"I wasn't getting any mail, including the junk mail," Hill said Wednesday.

She learned her mail had been diverted 720 miles away in Aliquippa - to a Kennedy Boulevard address occupied by a Fred Hill and his common-law wife, Wanda.

The mix-up was no accident, federal investigators say.

Fred Hill is accused of using change-of-address forms to divert mail from all over the country to Aliquippa, Beaver County, according to an affidavit filed last week in Pittsburgh's federal court. Fred Hill, a retired public school art teacher, allegedly had $12,000 taken from Freddie Hill's bank account.

Yesterday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Lenihan ordered Fred Hill to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. He is charged with one count of wire fraud.

Last May, postal inspectors became aware of several change-of-address cards directing mail to Fred Hill's Kennedy Boulevard address. In January, a change-of-address form was filed for Wanda Hill to an Irwin Street home, also in Aliquippa. Another request was filed to divert "all Hill, Carter and King" mail to the new address, court papers state.

Inside the Kennedy Boulevard home, U.S. postal inspectors found volumes of abandoned mail and lists of handwritten names and Social Security numbers in Georgia and California, as well as bank records for people in Florida and Kansas.

In March, Daniel Money, of Chesapeake, Va., called postal inspectors after discovering his bank account had been compromised to purchase a subscription to an Internet site and by an attempt to open a Target charge card.

His mail, too, was being diverted to Fred Hill's Aliquippa address.

When questioned by Aliquippa police, Fred Hill said he used the name Dan Money while on covert operations as a Navy Seal in the 1980s. During other interviews with investigators, Hill said he has used the names Stephen Hill, Fred Hill, Walter Hill and Daniel Money. He also said he was an attorney, a senior vice president of Black Entertainment Television and the producer of the Montel Williams show.

Since January, 170 change-of-address forms have been filled out for Hill's Aliquippa address, court papers indicated. In each instance, the request was made online using a credit card in the name of a Steven Hill.

During yesterday's hearing, Fred Hill swiveled constantly in his chair, laughed to himself and shook his head vigorously at times - including when he refused to go to a halfway house and insisted on being placed in the Allegheny County jail.

At one point, he turned to his wife seated in the back row of the small courtroom.

"Wanda, don't come here ever again," he said. "If they keep me here for 5 million years, don't come here again."

Freddie Hill is still having problems with her mail in Savannah and hopes it doesn't take that long to sort things out. She received a letter in March saying someone tried again to reroute her mail, this time filling a form on the Internet.

"It's still a nightmare," she said.

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