With an accomplice in January, Henry Gerhard Amundson
stole more than 40 pieces of mail in cities like Mission Viejo and Lake Forest and doctored checks to steal money before police stopped them in Costa Mesa.
Amundson faced a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine.
But this month, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney gave Amundson a break.
Carney sentenced him to a term of five months and ordered $985 in restitution.
The thief must also undergo three years of supervision by federal agents once he emerges from custody.
Federal prosecutors inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse agreed with the light sentence because Amundson admitted guilty and accepted responsibility for his crimes.
Plus he'd already served five months in lockup awaiting resolution of the case.