The Chicago Jackson Currency Exchange is suing three Joliet entities over allegations that the businesses operated illegally.
A civil suit was recently filed in Will County against three Joliet businesses by the Chicago Jackson Currency Exchange. It was filed over claims that the three entities violated Illinois law by “advertising ‘Check Cashing’ at the Boost Mobile store, 1399 Plainfield Road, a store at 1350 W. Jefferson St. and a third business storefront on Joliet’s east side, at 321 Collins St.” The co-defendants include Plaza Robles, D Mobile Communications, and GPM Communications. The plaintiff operates a currency exchange licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial Professional Regulation.
According to the suit, Gilberto Ramirez and his wife entered the Boost Mobile store at 1399 Plainfield Road on June 6. It states:
“Mr. Ramirez speaks and reads both Spanish and English. He observed an exterior sign advertising check-cashing services, and he observed a neon sign in English, visible outside, which read in English and Spanish, ‘Payroll Checks’…Mr. Ramirez approached an employee of GPM and asked if they would cash his payroll check. The employee was behind a glass window in an area protected from the public.”
The Chicago Jackson Currency Exchange further stated: “The employee took the check, cashed it and deducted a fee for cashing the payroll check. There were no posted scheduled fees for cashing checks.” Additionally, the suit argues that GPM “made an area within its store on Plainfield Road specifically devoted to the check-cashing activity. It is a room contiguous to its mobile phone business activity, a caged area similar to those found in licensed Currency exchanges to conduct check-cashing business, has been built on the premises.” Even when the suit was filed, GPM was allegedly still offering check cashing services for a fee.
The suit further noted that Ramirez and his wife entered the Joliet business at 1350 W. Jefferson St. back on April 26. According to the couple, the store also had a sign advertising its check-cashing services. The court documents state:
“Mr. Ramirez … asked if they would cash his payroll check. Mr. Ramirez was taken to another area of the store where he saw an employee that was behind a glass window in an area protected from the public. The employee took the check, cashed it, and deducted a fee for cashing the payroll check. He was not given a receipt for the transaction. There were no posted schedules of fees for cashing checks.”
Then, on May 16, Ramirez visited the 321 Collins St. business that “advertises itself as selling Western Wear and Check Cashing.” According to the suit, at that business, the “employee took Ramirez’s check and cashed it, deducting a fee for cashing the payroll check.” The plaintiffs further argued:
“There were no posted schedules of fees for cashing checks. Each of the defendants provided services … of check-cashing services for a fee or service charge. None of the defendants are licensed by the State of Illinois to operate a Currency exchange at their current location or any other location in the State of Illinois…The defendants, and each of them, are conducting an unregulated money services business. The alleged conduct of each of the defendants constitutes actions of unfair competition against the plaintiff, a licensed Currency exchange in good standing with the Secretary of State and the IDFPR.”
In addition to detailing out the different incidents that occurred at the three locations, the suit highlights the fact that “operating an unlicensed currency exchange is a Class A criminal misdemeanor and that state law provides for injunctive relief that can be initiated by licensed Currency exchanges.” As a result, the suit is seeking a temporary restraining order, as well as a preliminary injunction to be made permanent that would prevent the defendants from operating illegally.