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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Police arrested Spokane attorney Henry D. Goldberg on suspicion that he was “Shackleford T. Miller,” the swindler who scammed the Fidelity National Bank out of $1,750.

A man using the name Miller withdrew all of his money from his account and then waited for the teller to go to lunch, at which point he went back in and withdrew the same amount from the replacement teller.

Because the first transaction had not yet been recorded, “Shackleford T. Miller” doubled his money.

After his arrest, Goldberg denied that he was Shackleford T. Miller. Yet he did admit that he knew Miller – in fact, he said, he was Miller’s attorney. In that capacity, he had actually accompanied Miller to the bank during those two visits.

He said it was a simple teller’s mistake and he was “dumbfounded that the bank would be so careless.” Yet he didn’t urge his client to return the money. He said Miller left town but handed him the $1,750 “to invest for him.”

Why did the police think he was actually Shackleford T. Miller?

Goldberg allowed that “it is true that we look somewhat alike.”

“If police had given me half a chance yesterday, I would have had Miller in custody in a few hours,” said Goldberg. “I fear it is too late now. However, I’ll hunt that man to my dying days.”