|"Is this all real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"
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On 6 December 1926, Friend was arraigned in the Centre Street Police Court with alleged accomplice John Haas for the crime of defrauding the Columbia Bank of $121,000. Haas worked for the bank as a bookkeeper prior to his 2 December dismissal. Mayer and Brown, the detectives in charge of the case, stated they had never seen such a "slovenly, almost unbelievably simple" system of forging accounting records to hide fraud as that used by Haas and Friend. Friend was released on $50,000 bail a few hours after his arrest. He pleaded in court on the night of 5 December that he had nothing to do with the theft of the money from Columbia Bank. Another man, Joseph H. Friend, was also sought by police in connection with the case. The case was reported in the 6 December 1926 issue of the New York Chronicle.
Behind the scenes
- The text of the article mentioning William Friend in the prop issue of the New York Chronicle featured in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was taken from the real 21 November 1922 issue of The Evening World. This represents an anachronism, as the film is set in 1926, but the actual events referenced occurred in 1922.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (Mentioned in a newspaper)