Orlando man accused of cashing $6M in fraudulent checks



ORLANDO, Fla. - A Dr. Phillip's man is in jail for a fraud scheme involving identity theft and millions of dollars in fraudulent tax return checks.

Investigators believe 49-year-old Mohammed Esmail bought the fraudulent IRS checks for 50 cents on the dollar, then cashed them himself for full amounts.

Mossin Reza said Esmail worked the register at the Citgo gas station on South Orange Blossom Trail.

He said Esmail was a nice guy and a family man, but Federal investigators said he was involved in a lucrative illegal scheme.

The tax refund checks came from a supplier in Tampa who was using stolen IDs to file false returns.

IRS agents believe Esmail and another man received $6 million in fraudulent checks.

The car at Esmail's home had a bumper sticker that said, "Support law enforcement."

Esmail's daughter didn't want to talk, but a neighbor who didn't want to be identified was surprised.

"Anything negative is not good for the neighborhood. I don't like that," the neighbor said.

Investigators said Esmail also sold thousands of dollars in tax refund checks to undercover agents, and even told them he wanted to open his own convenience store as a place to start cashing them.