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The Mark Inside

Blonger Gets Buncoed.



Denver Republican, July 2, 1898

After a Long Rest He Has Once More Been Selling a Mine.
This One Was In Montana and Lou Blonger Says He Bought It.
What was represented to be a deal involving $3,000 worth of mining stock in a Montana phantom mine is responsible for the imprisonment of C. M. Fagen Bush and J. A. Weaver. They are in the city jail, charged with grand larceny.
Another result of the same transaction was the arrest of Lou Blonger for assault and battery. Blonger was arrested on the complaint of Weaver, but is at liberty on bonds.
A cashier's check on the Western bank is the principal factor in the controversy apart from the individuals involved. Blonger says without reserve that he is the victim of a well planned bunco game, and is the poorer by $1,000 by reason of his gullibility. His story is that Bush approached him with a proposition to purchase $3,000 worth of mining stock held by a third person. The stock was said to be part of the assets of the Gold Placer and Sapphire Mining Company of Montana. The scheme, as laid down by Bush, was that Blonger was to advance $1,000 of the purchase money, while Bush had a friend who would furnish another thousand dollars. The combined capital was to be used in purchasing the block of Montana stock.
Blonger also states the representation was made to him that the stock was worth more than $3,000, and that a tidy profit could be turned on the deal. He says that he deposited $1,000 in the Western bank, received a cashier's check and handed it to Weaver, who was to be the purchaser. This was the last he saw of the check or the money.
Yesterday he went to Weaver's office to learn how the transaction was progressing. He says that Weaver told him a peculiar story of having given the check to some man he did not know, and that he had not received any stock in return. Blonger and Weaver quarreled, and Blonger beat Weaver on the head and face with a revolver, inflicting ugly wounds. Weaver had Blonger arrested for assault and battery, and Blonger retaliated by sending Weaver to jail for grand larceny.
Weaver states that his part in the transaction was honorable, and that he narrowly escaped being the victim of a confidence game himself. He says that the stock was to have been sent to New York for sale to a firm of stock brokers in Wall street, who would have sold it for a big profit. He discovered his position before the deal went through, and tried to save himself. This is the reason, he states, why Blonger assaulted him. C. M. Fagen Bush is well known as a manipulator of stock mining transactions. He has had experience in the courts for this character of work. Weaver and Bush deny knowing anything of the check for $1,000.


Salt Lake Tribune, July 5, 1898

A Notorious Baron Behind Bars on Serious Charge.
"Baron" C. M. Fegen-Bush and one J. A. Weaver, the latter claiming to be manager of an electric belt company, were arrested and charged with stealing $1000 from Lou Blonger. Early in the afternoon Blonger engaged in a personal encounter with Weaver in the Boston block. Fegen-Bush was not present, else he, too, would probably have received rough treatment at the hands of the irate saloonkeeper.
From the facts thus far brought to light it seems that Blonger, Fegen-Bush and Weaver were engaged in the mining business, Blonger furnishing the cash, Fegen-Bush contributing his experience and Weaver his wits.
Fegen-Bush has always had large ideas in the money-making line. He does not trifle with small transactions. The selling of mining stock is his long suit. Lately he told the saloonkeeper of a great scheme of legally converting engraved paper mining stock into soft money. Weaver was to act as their agent. The other day Blonger put up $1000, being promised $1100 in return for his investment, and the cash was, according to stipulation, to be converted into a cashier's check at the Western bank and placed in escrow. Weaver, it is claimed, got the cashier's check, and when he was called upon yesterday to account for it, it is said, he declared that he had paid it over to a third party whose whereabouts he was unable to disclose.
The investigation of the affair, which will be resumed today, is expected to reveal extensive operations on the part of Fegen-Bush. It is claimed that under his direction stock in numerous phantom mining concerns has been issued and much of it sold to purchasers who were innocent of what they were buying. The "baron" has been trouble a score of times, but has always escaped conviction.—Denver News.


Denver Times, October 10, 1898

After Blonger Had Parted With a Thousand, He Went Into Court to Save His Cash.
The sporting fraternity of this city will await with interest the outcome of a peculiar criminal trial which began this morning in the West Side court, in which one of their number appears in the dual role of a prosecuting witness and the avenger of the wiles of an alleged bunco man. He is Louis Blonger, an old resident, who, although credited with an extended acquaintance with "fly" people, was depleted in purse to the extent of $1,000 by listening to the wily advances made by one of that ilk.
The prisoner at the bar, John A. Weaver, who is accused of appropriate Blonger's wealth, was formerly employed by the Sanden Electric company of Denver. He knew Blonger, and early one morning a conference was held between the two in Weaver's office. Its intent on the part of Weaver evidently was to secure $1,000 from his sporting friend as easily as possible. His method was unique and worked like a charm. Weaver had a good thing on. He had a friend and they wished to purchase 20,000 shares of the stock of the Gold Placer company in Montana. To make the deal Weaver admitted that he was compelled to borrow $1,000, and offered Blonger $100 for the use of that money for a few hours. Blonger responded with a cashier's check on the Western bank of this city, payable to Weaver, for that sum and gave the check to Weaver. The latter retained the check, it is said, for forty-eight hours, when he presented it at the Colorado National bank, where the paper was cashed.
In the meantime Blonger became suspicious, and on the afternoon of the same day that he issued the check he demanded its return from Weaver. He received no satisfaction nor a glimpse of the check. This is mainly the reason why John A. Weaver is on trial today. He is accused of larceny and larceny as bailee. Weaver is being defended by James H. Brown and George W. Stidger. It is presumed that they will spring some spicy developments ere the case continues.
A charge of conspiracy has also been made against Weaver in connection with the same circumstances. In this case C.M. Fagen-Bush is a co-defendant. He is alleged to have been an accomplice of Weaver in the $1,000 check trick. W.W. Anderson represents Mr. Fagen-Bush's interests.


Denver Times, October 11, 1898

Weaver's Defense is That Lou Was in on the Risk.
The prosecution of John A. Weaver, who is alleged to have buncoed Lou Blonger out of $1,000, is progressing rapidly in the West side court, and at noon today the state's case had been presented. The chief witness this morning was Samuel Blonger, a brother of the unwise Lou. He testified briefly that on the morning that Weaver secured the check from his brother that he had accompanied Lou to the Western bank to guarantee the check.
Counsel for Weaver objected to the testimony of this witness but were overruled. On cross-examination, however, Attorney Brown elicited the admission that the witness had known C.M. Fagen-Bush, whom he alleged had engineered the bunco deal, for several years, as a bunco man and one whose record had made him notorious in this city. Blonger was forced also to admit that he had met Rhodes, the pal of Weaver, in the gambling house of his brother Lou, but he denied that he had any intimation that he was aware that Rhodes was a confidence man.
The defense opened its case this afternoon and will attempt to show that Blonger was fully aware of the risk he ran in giving Weaver his check for $1,000.


Rocky Mountain News, OctOBER 11, 1898

Sporting Man Done Up by Those Whom He Trusted in a Deal.
John A. Weaver is on trial in the criminal court for the larceny and larceny as bailee of a $1,000 check. Lou Blonger, the complaining witness, agreed on July 1, this year, to give Weaver the use of the money in consideration of the payment of $100.
The check was to be used by Weaver to purchase shares of stock in a mining company and thereby induce one C. A. Waldo to put up money for the same purpose. Waldo, according to the statement made by Weaver to Blonger, was the "sucker." It later developed that Weaver, C. M. Fagen Bush and Waldo divided Blonger's money, each taking a third.
As a result of the swindle, a fight occurred between Blonger and Weaver, the former using a revolver over the head of the latter.
Attorneys Stidger and James Brown, who represent the defendant, allege that the check in question, which was made payable to the order of Weaver, was his property and that after it was made out in his name Blonger had no claim upon it. Sam and Lou Blonger and President Brown of the Western bank were examined yesterday. The trial will be resumed to-day.
Fagen Bush and Weaver are accused of conspiracy in connection with the deal. The charges of larceny and larceny as bailee against Weaver were consolidated yesterday by order of court.


Denver Republican, October 11, 1898

John Weaver Charged With Larceny of $1,000 Check from Louis Blonger.
In the West Side court a case is on trial in which John A. Weaver is charged with the larceny of and the larceny as bailee of a check for $1,000 from Louis Blonger, July 1, 1898.
The following story, as pieced together by the attorneys and officers in the case, is interesting, though the truth of it may never be proved. C. S. Roades had $20,000 of Gold Placer and Sapphire mining stock which he wanted to sell C. A. Waldo and John A. Weaver for $3,000. Waldo, the dupe, was to pay $2,000. Weaver, the assistant to Roades, was to pay $1,000 and to get his money paid directly back to him.
Weaver explained to Blonger, the second dupe, that he needed $1,000 for a few hours only, in order to make the pretended payment, and that he would return the $1,000.
Blonger established a credit at the Western bank and drew on it in the form of a $1,000 cashier's check. He gave the check to Weaver. Weaver cashed the check and kept the money; or instead of keeping it all, he gave $500 to Roades; or C. M. Fagen-Bush, the man supposed to be back of the whole scheme, got the lion's share of the cash.
The evidence of W. G. Brown, president of the Western bank, of bank officials and of Blonger was taken yesterday afternoon. The officials testified to the establishing of the credit, the issuing of the check to Blonger and the cashing of the check by Weaver. Blonger testified that he procured the check and gave it to Weaver under promise that he should receive $100 for the use of the check during a few hours.

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