Jamaican dancehall producer Donte Johnson, widely known as Papi Don Muziq, was last week arrested and charged for scamming in South Florida.
The 25-year-old hitmaker was taken into custody on Wednesday after being accused of running an elaborate scam operation in the state.
In a news release, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said they arrested Johnson on fraud charges after he scammed an 88-year-old Sarasota resident out of $63,000 through a Publishers Clearing House scam.
Detectives began their investigation in October when family members of the 88-year-old filed a report with the sheriff’s office. The victim believed he was paying taxes for Publishers Clearing House winnings in advance and deposited $63,000 into two separate bank accounts.
Through investigation coupled with video surveillance, detectives identified Johnson, a resident of Plantation, Florida, as the suspect using the victim’s identity to withdraw funds.
On Wednesday, March 3, with assistance from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and Plantation Police Department, a search warrant was executed on Johnson’s home. During the search, detectives recovered more than $17,000 in cash, a stolen firearm, and several electronic devices.
Detectives identified at least 17 additional elderly victims and believe there may be others who fell victim to Johnson’s scam. In total, detectives estimate Johnson stole approximately $300,000 from the 17 victims who live in areas all over the country.
Johnson was taken into custody by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office charged with Criminal Use of Personal Identification, Bank Fraud, and Grand Theft of a Firearm. He has since been released. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.
“It is with credit to our Special Victims Unit that this criminal is behind bars,” commented Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman.
“These detectives work hard to protect our most vulnerable populations, but it is on all of us to look out for our elderly, and one another. The message here is take caution for both yourself and the ones you love. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Papi Don has worked with a slew of dancehall talents including Teejay, Chronic Law and Shaneil Muir.
The producer is a native of Montego Bay, Jamaica’s second city, which is the birthplace and centre of the lottery scamming industry on the island.