It started with a probation officer’s routine checkup on a Davie man and it became a vast investigation into identity theft and bank fraud in four states.
Junior Jocelyn Jeantilus, 26, is facing 20 grand theft and fraud charges for allegedly stealing more than $267,000 in unemployment benefits from the state of Massachusetts, court record show.
He is also accused of receiving more than $18,000 in jobless payments from agencies in West Virginia, Louisiana, and Texas.
According to the arrest report, Jeantilus was on probation since November for a concealed weapon charge.
Florida Department of Corrections officer Evan Rosen went to the Jeantilus home with two Davie Police officers Feb. 24 and found ammunition which was a violation of Jeantilus’ probation, but that’s not all he found.
There was a stack of 41 credit and debit cards and mail with different addresses in the home, none of which had Jeantilus’ name on them, the report stated.
Jeantilus told officers he found the cards left in his car that he rents out to people on weekends to make extra money. He claimed he tried to contact the customers to return their lost cards but had no success, police said.
A detective returned with a search warrant and reported finding ammunition, checks, more credit/debit cards, a bag of several prepaid cellphones, and a notebook containing the names and personal information of several people.
The credit/debit cards were traced to 43 accounts in eight banks that were set up to receive deposits from unemployment assistance departments in Massachusetts, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Texas.
Nearly 1,500 withdrawals occurred in South Florida, mostly in Davie, the report stated.
Surveillance video and pictures were being sought from various bank ATMs. Probation officer Rosen identified Jeantilus from a photograph taken during a transaction in a Publix store, investigators said.
Jeantilus surrendered at the Broward courthouse Wednesday and was released on bonds totaling $50,000, records show.