Pot dispensary owner: Mail worker stole tax payment

Department of Revenue confirmed suspect Theodore Paulsen was an employee

Theodore Paulsen, 54, was arrested for allegedly stealing mail while working for the Department of Revenue, June 15, 2017. (Salem PD)

SILVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — A Department of Revenue employee who worked in the agency’s mail processing unit was arrested for mail theft, police said.

The department confirmed 54-year-old Theodore Paulsen was an employee, but didn’t reveal any information about the case other than that he was arrested at work.

Salem Police Dept. has also remained tight-lipped about the case, saying only that Paulsen was arrested on allegations involving his employer.

Medical marijuana dispensary owner Ed Medina said Theodore Paulsen was arrested after he informed police his money order to the Department of Revenue had been stolen, June 15, 2017. (KOIN)

But KOIN 6 News spoke to medical marijuana dispensary owner Ed Medina who said the investigation started after he tipped off police. Medina said it all began when he received a warrant demanding he pay nearly $1,100 in taxes, money he said had already been paid.

“Immediately, I wondered what had happened to my payment, whether it didn’t show up,” Medina said.

The dispensary owner said he was sure he had paid the money, and even had proof of it. In fact, Medina said he made copies of the money orders and even sent it via certified mail.

Medina said police called him the same day Paulsen was arrested.

“I received a call from the officer… and he said there was an arrest made in the case and that it was actually a Department of Revenue employee,” he said.

Paulsen worked for the department since 2003, and based off of his conversation with police, Medina said he wouldn’t be surprised if he had victimized others, too.

“Officers did say to me… that there was evidence found also of other mail theft,” Medina said. “So I seriously doubt we are the only victims here.”

Medina said he blames the incident on federal regulations and the fact that legal cannabis businesses around the country can’t use the banking system. Instead, he said, businesses like his are forced to make state payments with money orders.

“Any cannabis business, legal cannabis business, in any state in the U.S. is dealing with these same types of problems,” he said.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.