OAKLAND -- A U.S. Postal Service manager and his wife have been charged with conspiracy for allegedly creating and operating a four-year scheme that bilked the government of more than $4 million and increased profits of a private trucking firm owned by the couple, according to federal court records.

Federal prosecutors say that Balvinder Singh Chadha and his wife, Jaspinder Kaur Chadha, began their scheme in 2005 when Singh Chadha used his position as the manager of postal vehicle service to direct and approve contracts between the government and Golden Pacific Logistics Inc., a private trucking firm he owned with his wife.

In addition to illegally approving contracts for a company he owned, court documents filed Friday state that Singh Chadha also created and approved payment of fake invoices for work Golden Pacific Logistics never did.

That work included invoices for trucks Golden Pacific Logistics never supplied to the postal service and maintenance and servicing that were never conducted.

At the same time, the couple is charged with actively attempting to conceal their ownership of Golden Pacific Logistics by ordering GPL employees not to mention them as owners and listing Singh Chadha's sister-in-law as a corporate officer and director of the company, even though she had no role in the operation.

Singh Chadha's wife is also charged in the case, according to documents, because she was also an owner of the trucking company and knew the scheme her husband was conducting.

"He knew that the GPL invoices overstated the number of trucks leased and the mileage incurred by the lease trucks and claimed servicing and maintenance costs not authorized for reimbursement under GPL's contract," wrote Maureen Bessette, chief of the Oakland branch of the U.S. attorney's office.

Singh Chadha faces 25 years in federal prison on the charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. His wife faces five years in federal prison on one charge of conspiracy.

In addition, the federal government is seeking to confiscate any property owned by the couple.