Cleveland Official Has Two Men Arrested After Losing $10,000

Originally Published In The Washington Post, April 8, 1908, page 8.

South Bend, Ind., April 7. – It became public here to-day that W. J. Springborn, president of the public service board of Cleveland, who came to South Bend to close a deal for a game preserve and clubhouse in Florida, was made the victim of a gang of sharpers and lost $10,000 betting on a fake wrestling match. J. W. Fleming, who, it is charged, was in the land deal, and J. E. Foster, charged with being one of the promoters of the wrestling match, are in jail – Fleming in Cleveland and Foster in South Bend.

Fleming, it is claimed, told Springborn that a man named Pomeroy, of this city, had a Florida game preserve and clubhouse for sale for $10,000, that was worth easily $7,000 more, and the two men came here to close the deal. The talk turned to wrestling, and two of the new friends introduced happened to be wrestlers.

A match was suggested, Springborn was told it was a “sure thing” and $42,000, including Springborn’s $10,000, was bet and put in a heavily locked box, which two of the men put in a trust company vault. The wrestling match started and was interrupted by one of the wreslters pretending to be badly hurt. It was whispered that the man was dying and every one had better disappear. The money has not yet been found. Neither have the members of the party except Fleming and Foster.

Read More About This Story:

Politician Taken to Indiana. The Evening Telegram, Thursday, April 9, 1908, Page 3.

Fake Wrestling Promoter Held At South Bend. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Sunday Morning, April 19, 1908, Page 20.

BIG SWINDLE TO BE AIRED. Wrestling Bunko Case Is to Be Called Monday, The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Thursday, December 24, 1908, Page 5.

Alleged Bunco Steerer Disappears. Coshocton Daily Times, (Coshocton, Ohio), December 29, 1908, Page 3.

BUNKO CHARGE TO BE AIRED. Trial of William Fleming for Swindling Cleveland Man Set For Today. The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Monday, April 12, 1909, Page 5.

SWINDLER IS SENTENCED Prison Doors Swing for Wm. Fleming, Bunko Man. The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Thursday, June 17, 1909, Page 5.

Fleming Case Affirmed. The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Tuesday, May 24, 1910, Page 1.

This page is part of Fake ... Working Through Wrestling's Past, a virtual library of pre-1920 newspaper articles that address or allude to fakery, fixes, or "hippodromes" in pro wrestling. For more information about this project, click here.



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