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A SPECIAL SECTION: Haiti, Since the January 12, 2010 Fierce Earthquake

Posted Tuesday, December 21, 2010  

Man allegedly posed as priest in check scam

Boston police detectives collared a man who was allegedly pretending to be a priest as he opened accounts at major banks around the state and wrote nearly $20,000 worth of bad checks off them.

Koffi Gbikpi, 45, of Brookline faces charges of forgery and uttering a false instrument by kiting checks after police caught up with him at the Boston Private Bank Monday trying to take out a loan, the Boston Police Special Investigations Unit said in a statement.

Police said that Gbikpi opened accounts with several banks around the state, including three accounts at Boston Private Bank at Post Office Square. He then allegedly deposited checks of $6,000, $2,000, and $10,000 from other bank accounts into the new accounts. But none of the bank accounts had any funds in them.

Gbikpi then returned to Boston Private Bank Monday to take out a loan, but police were waiting for him when he arrived.

Police did not say why Gbikpi had dressed like a priest.

Gbikpi was arraigned this afternoon in Boston Municipal Court and held on $50,000 bond. He was ordered to surrender his passport.

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