Local businesses owner and employee each plead guilty to filing false tax returns after failing to report nearly $4 million in income
ATLANTA – Milton Minter a/k/a White Boi has been sentenced as one of the leaders of a group that stole over $10 million in U.S. Treasury checks and cashed them at Walmart and Kroger stores using fake identifications.
“Minter was one of the leaders of a theft ring responsible for stealing over 6,000 checks,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “When criminals steal Treasury checks, they victimize senior citizens, the disabled, and veterans who depend on these funds for their well-being.”
“The success of this investigation is a directly attributable to the other federal agencies that partnered with the Secret Service to bring this ring to justice," said Kenneth Cronin, Special Agent in Charge of the U. S. Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office. "It is immensely satisfying to see those who prey on the vulnerable among us punished.”
“As a result of coordinated investigative efforts, the sentence handed down in this case will send a clear message to mail thieves that you will be vigorously pursued and brought to justice. I fully commend the hard work and countless hours put forth by the Stolen Treasury Check Task Force, which resulted in the arrest and prosecution of this individual and the other co-defendants in this case,” said Paul D. Mezzanotte, Acting U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge of the Charlotte Division. “An important part of the U. S. Postal Inspection Service mission is to ensure public trust in the mail and to defend the nation’s mail system from illicit financial gain.”
“Social Security payments are intended to benefit some of our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and the disabled, so leading a scheme to steal millions of dollars in government checks is an intolerable offense,” said Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Social Security Office of the Inspector General’s Atlanta Field Division. “The SSA OIG is committed to working with the Stolen Treasury Check Task Force to detect and investigate government check theft, and we thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Northern Georgia for prosecuting this significant case.”
“The United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General takes allegations of mail theft seriously and vigorously investigate these matters to protect the overall integrity of the Postal Service,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul L. Bowman.
Robert A. Bourbon, Special Agent in Charge of the DOJ OIG’s Miami Field Office said, “The DOJ OIG very much appreciates the diligent efforts of our fellow law enforcement agencies in bringing this matter to such a successful conclusion.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: Milton Minter a/k/a White Boi, received stolen U.S. Treasury checks that were taken from the U.S. Mail before reaching their intended recipients. The stolen checks included tax refunds, Social Security benefits, and veteran’s disability checks. After receiving the checks, Minter provided them to check cashers who negotiated the stolen checks, mainly at Walmart and Kroger stores. The check cashers used fake driver’s licenses to pose as the check payees and forged the payees’ names on the back of the checks. They also used others’ Social Security numbers to cash the checks.
In an effort to avoid detection, they traveled to different states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Kentucky, Iowa, Louisiana, and Tennessee, to cash the stolen checks. The ring was responsible for cashing over 6,000 stolen U.S. Treasury checks worth over $10 million.
The indictment in this case charged Minter along with 15 other defendants. The indictment alleges that another leader of the group, Maurice Shuler a/k/a Fred, 27, of Atlanta, Georgia, also received stolen U.S. Treasury checks and provided them to check cashers. The remaining defendants are alleged to have worked with Minter and Shuler and cashed checks as part of the scheme. To date, eight of the other 15 defendants have pleaded guilty. Seven of those defendants have been sentenced so far, to jail terms spanning from two to seven years.
Minter, 32, of Riverdale, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $75,000 fine. He was convicted of theft of government money and aggravated identity theft after pleading guilty on May 31, 2016.
This case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service; United States Postal Inspection Service; Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General; United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General; and Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General.
Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen H. McClain and Christopher C. Bly are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.