Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Greek Banker Under Arrest - Charged with Defrauding Countrymen" article - Chicago Daily Tribune, June 29, 1910


Published in the Chicago Daily Tribune, June 29, 1910

GREEK BANKER UNDER ARREST
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Soterios Boussoulas Is Charged
with Defrauding Countrymen.
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SAY $30,000 HAS BEEN LOST.
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Claim He Took Money for Drafts on
Dummy Agents in Old Country.
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Soterios Boussoulas, a Greek banker and steamship agent, is under arrest on the charge of operating a confidence game.  The specific charge against the prisoner is that he defrauded K.N. Safis, 14 Dearborn street, out of $150, but the police say they have evidence that the banker misappropriated over $30,000 during the last two years.

Boussoulas sold drafts for sums ranging from $20 to $500 to trusting countrymen, who sent the drafts to relatives and friends in Greece, where the banker claimed to have agents who would redeem the paper.  But no representatives with the cash could be found; the police allege.

The prisoner is 33 years old and did his banking and steamship business at 748 Halsted street and at 2 Clark street.  He also conducted a labor agency, published a Greek newspaper and owner a cigaret factory.

Arrested in Nick of Time.

His arrest, the police say, was made in the nick of time, for it is charged that he had converted all his property into cash and was preparing to return to Athens.  He was arrested late Monday night by Detectives Findley, Crandall, and Georgipoolos of Assistant Chief Schuettler's office, but the matter was kept secret until late yesterday afternoon.

According to the police investigation, drafts aggregating $32,000 were returned through the Metropolitan, Commercial, and First National banks during the last two years.  The police assert that the prisoner staved off prosecution by cajoling some of his victims, while he threatened violence to others.

Loses Money Sent to Mother.

Safis desired to send $150 to his mother in Athens and paid that amount to Boussoulas on the latter's representation that he had a representative there who would redeem it.  But it came back and, it is charged, Boussoulas refused to make a refund.  William Metsotoulos, another complainant, alleges he bought a $120 draft from the banker and it came back unpaid.

Boussoulas protests his innocence, declaring he really has agents in the places he sent the drafts and that he could not understand why they were not honored.  He said he did about $30,000 worth of business a month.




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