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Charges: Man Swindled Fmr. Classmates Out Of $5,300

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WEST ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A 21-year-old man has been accused of contacting his former high school classmates and swindling them out of thousands of dollars, according to Dakota County Attorney’s Office.

Accord to the criminal complaint, West. St. Paul Police were contacted on Aug. 9, 2011 by one of the victims, who said she was recently contacted by a friend she went to school with. She identified the man as Jonte Enrique Bohanan-Smith.

The victim told police Bohanan-Smith asked her if she could hold onto some money for him because he did not want to spend it while he was looking for an automobile to purchase. The victim agreed to help and they both went to a Wells Fargo branch in West St. Paul.

There, Bohanan-Smith allegedly wrote the victim two checks totaling $3,500. At the time, the victim deposited the checks and withdrew $1,000 in cash, which she gave to Bohanan-Smith.

The next day, Bohanan-Smith called the victim and told her he found the car he wanted to purchase and asked for the remainder of the money. So, the victim went to the bank, withdrew $2,500 and gave it to Bohanan-Smith, the complaint said.

A few days later, the victim was notified by her bank that the two checks she received from Bohanan-Smith were written on a closed account. When she tried calling Bohanan-Smith, his phone number was disconnected and she didn’t know where he lived.

West St. Paul Police subsequently discovered another incident where Bohanan-Smith allegedly convinced another high school classmate to cash checks for him, this time for $1,800, which the victim withdrew and gave to Bohanan-Smith.

Bohanan-Smith was charged with one felony count of theft by swindle. If convicted, he could face a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a potential maximum fine of $10,000.

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