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Inmate accused of impersonating California billionaire to steal $11M whereas inside max safety lock-up


A Georgia inmate accused of stealing $11 million reportedly impersonated billionaires, together with a California film mogul, whereas inside a maximum-security lock-up.

Arthur Lee Cofield Jr., a 31-year-old gang member serving 14 years for armed theft, is accused of utilizing contraband cell telephones from contained in the Georgia Department of Corrections’ Special Management Unit to impersonate California billionaire Sidney Kimmel and open a fraudulent checking account in his title. 

Cofield allegedly organized for $11 million to be wired from Kimmel’s Charles Schwab account to an organization in Idaho for the acquisition of 6,106 American Eagle one-ounce gold cash.

Federal prosecutors consider Cofield then allegedly organized for a non-public aircraft to move the cash to Atlanta, the place some funds had been used to buy a $4.4 million home in Buckhead.

The scheme is believed to quantity to one of many largest heists pulled off from inside an American jail. 

Kimmel, chairman and CEO of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, the Los Angeles-based firm behind movies reminiscent of “Hell or High Water,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Moneyball,” has since been reimbursed in full by the financial institution, however the case shines a light-weight on the corrections’ division’s failures to curb criminal activity even from inside its personal maximum-security facility meant to accommodate Georgia’s hardened criminals. 

Arthur Lee Cofield Jr. is accused of utilizing contraband cell telephones to impersonate Sidney Kimmel (pictured) and open a fraudulent checking account in his title. 
Dave Allocca/Starpix/Shutterstock
Actor Jeff Bridges with producers Sidney Kimmel and John Penotti.

Sidney Kimmel is CEO of the corporate behind movies reminiscent of “Hell or High Water,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Moneyball.”
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for CBS Films

Cofield reportedly had been transferred to the Special Management Unit after allegedly ordering from inside a Georgia state jail for gang members to gun down certainly one of his romantic rivals in Atlanta.

A restricted quantity of data has been publicly reported concerning the conspiracy case for the reason that Justice Department first introduced in December 2020 that Cofield and two co-conspirators on the skin, Eldridge Bennett and his daughter Eliayah Bennett, had been indicted for stealing $11 million.  

All three have pleaded not responsible to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and cash laundering.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in reviewing court docket filings and different paperwork, first publicly recognized Kimmel because the alleged sufferer in a report revealed on Friday, suggesting there could also be others.

At a earlier bond listening to, federal prosecutors mentioned proof steered Cofield accessed an account belonging to Nicole Wertheim, the spouse of Florida billionaire Herbert Wertheim, and stole $2.25 million, the Journal reported. No costs have been filed in connection to that case to this point. 

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