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Man gets caught cashing phony checks at casinos

Senior Reporter

Did you know you can cash a check in a casino? Yes, even stimulus checks. It’s a relatively easy process and most facilities won’t require too much information in order to process personal, two-party, or stimulus checks. A man named Brian Salas-Suarez, 25, saw this as an opportunity to make an extra buck by printing fake checks and depositing them at multiple casinos.

Man gets caught cashing phony checks at casinos
Image: pixabay.com

Unfortunately for Brian, he wasn’t a very “smooth” criminal. He would make several copies of the same exact check copies and attempt to use them all in Nevada gambling facilities one after another. That, of course, got him noticed pretty quickly, and he is now tainted with ten felonies for running a large-scale fraud lab printing phony checks, costing the casinos a considerable amount of money. Needless to say, he will also lose his freedom for quite some time. Silly of him to think he wouldn’t be on the watch, as he already got in trouble for printing counterfeit checks in 2020.

Financial Crimes Detectives noticed suspicious activity all the way back in May when Brian successfully cashed these checks at Hobey's Casino followed,Tamarack Casino and the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino. He had no idea he was being watched at the time, so he carried on with the fraudulent activities without a worry in the world. But as soon as the red flags were raised at the casinos, FCD had a primary suspect in mind right off the bat due to Brian’s past involvement in this sketchy scheme.

"The way that our suspect was able to create these fraudulent checks, is to take checks that may have already been deposited in that person's account via their cell phone...On one particular day, that one particular design would be cashed at multiple locations," said Johns...Then the next day, there would be another particular design and those would get cashed at multiple locations."  Sarah Johns, spokesperson for WCSO explains.

A detective search was conducted at Brian’s residence on July 8, where printers, computers, scanners, stolen mail, check stock, fake checks, and other items that were used to commit all sorts of financial fraud.

The con artist is now going to have the following felony counts on his record: one of Establishing or Possessing a Financial Forgery Laboratory with the Intent to Commit any Unlawful Act; two counts of Making, Uttering or Possessing with Intent to Utter Fictitious Bill, Note or Check; two counts of Obtaining Money, Property, Rent or Labor by False Pretenses; two counts of Grand Larceny Valued at $1,200 - $5,000; and three counts of Violation of Probation/Condition of a Suspended Sentence.

However, it’s possible that Brian committed a lot more financial crimes than what he was charged for, and the ongoing investigation is likely going to add more color to his felony counts. It looks like Brian thought he was pulling a Leo DeCaprio from the movie Catch Me If You Can. Well, it turns out that the authorities certainly ‘can’, and did catch this not-so-nonchalant trickster.

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