HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii man accused of using counterfeit bank checks totaling $1.2 million to try to bail three people out of a jail has been arrested and authorities are seeking to keep him locked up with no bail, according to court documents.
Samuela Tuikolongahau Jr. was detained by federal authorities on Monday and a U.S. Secret Service affidavit filed in court alleged that he presented the bank checks for $760,000, $400,000 and $50,000 in 2020 during the attempt to post bail for the three people held at the Oahu Community Correctional Center.
He left a Honolulu courthouse after being told the checks would need verification, the court document said. Officials determined the checks were counterfeit and the two men and woman he tried to get out of jail were not released.
Court documents did not specify his relationship to the three jailed people.
In August 2020, Tuikolongahau obtained a counterfeit cashier’s check for $36,000 purported to be from a credit union and tried to use it, and someone else’s identification, to purchase a Land Rover from a Honolulu used car lot, the affidavit said.
He also used someone else’s identification to open an account online at Charles Schwab and tried to deposit counterfeit and altered checks into that account, the court document said.
Tuikolongahau was scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday for a hearing. Walter Rodby, his court-appointed defense attorney, did not immediately return email and phone messages seeking comment.
According to state court records, Tuikolongahau is currently held on $100,000 bail at the same jail where he tried to release the three people from. He previously pleaded not guilty to charges of unauthorized possession of confidential personal information stemming from separate 2021 allegations.