December 20, 1923

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News from December 20, 1923

News from December 20, 1923 (The Buffalo Evening Times, via™)

A Confession Throws Light on an Old Fraud Case

In December 1923, a remarkable event occurred that threw light on the justice system and the desire for redemption. This event involved Harry Kollas, a young Greek immigrant, who made a public confession in New York, revealing himself as the true perpetrator of a series of bank frauds. Kollas made the declaration in an effort to clear his friend George Pteriotis’s name who had served time in prison for the crime.

Kollas admitted that he had committed these crimes under the pseudonym of Joseph Sakelos. It was for these that his friend Pteriotis was convicted and served a two-and-a-half-year sentence at the Federal Prison in Atlanta. Pteriotis had always insisted that he had sold his trading company, the American Company of Commerce, to Sakelos, and that it was Sakelos who had committed the fraud. However, during Pteriotis’s trial, two witnesses claimed that Pteriotis and Sakelos were the same person which led to Pteriotis’s conviction.

On his release and faced with the threat of deportation, Pteriotis sought to vindicate his name. He found Kollas in San Francisco, convinced him to travel to Chicago, where he persuaded him to confess.

However, with Kollas’s confession in hand, it remained uncertain whether he could now be legally tried for the crimes committed years ago due to the issue of the statute of limitations.

Learn more about December 20, 1923 through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.

Source Articles and Clippings

"December 20, 1923," Topics ( : accessed April 13, 2024)