Houston Man Allegedly Forges Checks—in Order to Donate to Zoo

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 February 22, 2012; Source: KHOU-Houston

 It is not clear here what the alleged scam was intended to be, but in Houston, Texas, a man donated more than $55,000 via three checks to the Houston Zoo. Or so the zoo thought. When it went to deposit the money, the bank let them know that the accounts the checks were drawn on did not exist. Robert Wickboldt is being charged with forgery. Apparently, he called the charity with an offer to donate and, in a meeting a few days later, he gave them a check for $50,000, whereupon he was asked to a gala—at which he paid for a couple of auction items with two more checks.

Maybe it was those auction items he was after? While this episode remains something of a mystery, the lesson is clear: don’t spend it until the bank has cleared it. –Ruth McCambridge