Fort Lauderdale woman pleads guilty in identity theft check-cashing scheme

A Fort Lauderdale woman is facing up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty in an estimated $5.3 million identity theft and check-cashing scheme, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer announced Friday.

Regina James, 38, was one of seven people working for Wilson Lau, 76, and Kate Yuee Lau, 55. The married couple operated an Oakland Park check-cashing store called American Quick Cash, prosecutors said.

James cashed some 4,000 U.S. Treasury income tax refund checks using fake Florida driver’s licenses, according to court records.

James kept 10 percent of the money after paying 50 percent to the Laus and 40 percent to the people who filed the fraudulent tax returns to get the refunds, records showed.

James cashed checks totaling an estimated $650,617 using the stolen identities of more than 50 people between January 2010 and June 2011, evidence showed.

Her sentencing is set for May 16.

Wilson Lau was sentenced to seven years in prison and Kate Yuee Lau got two years after pleading guilty in April 2012, records show.

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