Sat, May 05, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Woman not charged over fake check from fraudster

Staff writer, with CNA

No charges will be pressed against a woman who was caught cashing a fake travelers check she said was from her fiance, a man claiming to be the director of the CIA, prosecutors said yesterday.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office said it found no evidence that the woman, Liu Shu-chen (劉淑貞), knew the travelers check was fake when she tried cashing it at a local bank on Sept. 5 last year.

Liu was accused of counterfeiting securities after the bank notified the police.

Liu said she received a package of 37 travelers checks totaling 18,500 euros (US$24,290) along with a sales receipt in September from her fiance, who claimed to be CIA chief David Petraeus, prosecutors said.

Liu said they met over Skype in May last year.

Because the man had proposed and promised to come to Taiwan to marry her, Liu thought the checks were genuine and were meant to be used to prepare for their wedding, prosecutors said.

Liu was convinced at the time that the person claiming to be Petraeus was who he said he was and showed the media a ring with the name “David” inscribed on it, which she said he sent her, adding that the media and other concerned parties should not be so quick to call “David” a liar

Prosecutors said Liu, who had wired about US$40,000 to the man before receiving the checks, also accepted the check’s authenticity because of the receipt and because the image of the man on his Skype account looked like Petraeus.

As a result, the office decided not to press charges against Liu for forging checks.

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