Owner, Junior Jean Baptiste, of a North Miami check cashing store named Surveillance Masters, was convicted of numerous crimes including theft of government funds, or plainly stated he cashed in other peoples’ tax refund checks.
Evidence presented at court showed that from 2009 to 2011, Baptiste knowingly cashed over $11 million in fraudulent tax return checks that had been issued to dead people, disabled people and other individuals that would not typically file tax returns. His “fee” for cashing these checks was half the amount of the checks. Baptiste’s trial did not disclose the persons providing the checks, which typically ranged from $1,000 to $9,000 each.
During his arrest, investigators found more than 900 false driver’s licenses, work permits and green cards.
Trial evidence showed that Baptiste used the check-cashing fees to buy a cargo ship, multiple vehicles and the rights to an album of a prominent hip-hop artist.