People will believe just about anything, it seems. Nou Chang, 52, of Coon Rapids, Minn., owner of Foley Foods grocery store there, was duped into believing that con artist Franklin T. Forlemu, 22, of Savage, had a potion that would turn blank paper into hard cash if immersed in the potion for several hours.
According to the complaint, Forlemu went to Chang’s store, slipped blank pieces of paper between some $20 bills, donned a breathing mask and poured his mysterious concoction over the pile. When he was done, the blanks looked like twenties to Chang.
Forlemu told him to get large sums of cash, and Chang came back with $70,000 in $100 bills.
He watched Forlemu put the blank slips between them and pour the solution on the stack, then wrap the wad in tinfoil and pour on more.
Forlemu said the money and paper must be sealed for three hours before opening the windfall. But when Chang finally unwrapped the tinfoil stack, he found nothing but white paper.
Chang felt foolish, he told police. But he wound up lucky.
Police arrested Forlemu at his apartment and found $76,000 in $100 bills duct-taped in a cardboard box under his bed, including Chang’s cash.
The potion turned out to be water, said Coon Rapids Detective Dave Westberg. He said Forlemu used sleight-of-hand to make it look like the paper slips turned into cash.
Forlemu refused to say where the additional $6,000 in the box came from, Westberg said. — Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Con artists and swindlers do their thing very well, and one should be skeptical of things that seem too good to be true. In this case, it’s the victim, Nou Chang, who gets today’s Stupid Person of the Day award. But the fact that he got his money back should make him feel a little less bad about it.