The Klick Couple Swindle
In 1933, an elderly couple from Rochester, New York, were swindled out of their life savings of over $70,000. After an 18-month manhunt taking Postal inspector Clifford L. Booth all over the country, four men and one woman were arrested.
In the fall of 1933, German immigrants Mr. and Mrs. William Klick met couple Walter and Evelyn Schultz (real names Adolph and Eva Moser) in Detroit, Michigan. Mrs. Klick bumped into "Mrs. Schultz" one day while the two were waiting for their husbands. Before long, the couples were attending church and dining together.
Discovering they were all heading to Chicago at the same time, they decided to caravan together on September 11. When stopping in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the couples an into James C. Flemming (William R. Day), who Mrs. Schultz/Moser recognized from stock market success.
Mr. Schultz/Moser conviced Mr. Flemming to help him invest in the stock market, doubling the money almost instantly. Mr. Klick, Mr. Schultz, and Mr. Flemming then went the morning of September 13 to meet with a broker who would turn out to be John (Jack) Porter.
The Swindle Cont.
Upon witnessing another successful transaction, the Klicks began to trust Flemming and Schultz. Wanting to make an easy profit, the Klicks agreed to go back to their home in New York and withdraw their life savings of over $72,000 in cash and bonds.
Once they were back in Michigan, they met Flemming, who claimed the deal had been false and that he was double crossed by Porter and Schultz. Flemming left, but he assured them he would fix the issue. The Klicks returned to Rochester, believing Flemming would make it right. After a couple weeks, they attempted to reach the Schultze's by mail. Their registered letter was returned. The Schultze's didn't exist.
Realizing they had been swindled out of their entire life savings, the Klicks made a call to the post office Inspector of Rochester and gave their story to Inspector Clifford L. Booth and the U.S> Attorney Joseph J. Doran.
In December, 1933, the Klicks were shown roughly 500 photographs of known swindlers. Almost immediately, they identified William R. Day ( the man they knew as Flemming), a four-time sentenced criminal. Day was then arrested. Day provided little information, and the investigation continued. After 18-months, Mrs. Klick went to view more photographs and identified Adolph and Eva Moser (Schultz).
Following the arrest of the Mosers, Inspector Booth discover Jack Porter was working with another well-known swindler in El Paso, Texas. booth immediately went to investigate. By the end of February 1935, all four of the culprits had been arrested.
In 1936, the Klicks faced the Mosers in court to regain their lost money. After an exhausting trial, they were awarded $50,700 restitution.
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