Broward Resident Pleads Guilty In Check Cashing Scheme
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South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Fort Lauderdale woman has pled guilty to participated in a treasury check cashing and stolen identity scheme which nabbed more than $600,000.
Regina James, 38, pled guilty to one count of theft of public money and one count of aggravated identity theft.
At her sentencing, scheduled for May 16, James faces a maximum term of ten years in prison for the theft of public money charge, and a mandatory term of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charge.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, court documents explain how the scheme worked.
Wilson and Kate Lau owned a check cashing store called American Quick Cash (AQC). They would cash fraudulent tax refund checks from fraudulent tax refund filings using stolen identities.
James was one of seven “middle men” who brought the checks to AQC. She would also use fake Florida Driver’s licenses of the individuals on the checks that she cashed.
To cash the checks, James was charged 15% , but Lau increased the fee to 50%. James received the checks from another person and gave 40% of the amount of the check to that unidentified person. James would keep 10%.
She cashed $650, 617 worth of checks during the scheme which took place from January 2012 to June 2011.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 50 but less than 250 people were affected by the scheme.