Billionaire film producer robbed of $11 million by a Georgia inmate from inside a maximum security prison – Yahoo Finance
An inmate in Georgia allegedly stole millions of dollars from billionaire Sidney Kimmel in one of the biggest heists to ever happen from inside a jail cell.
While imprisoned in the Georgia Department of Corrections’ Special Management Unit, Arthur Lee Cofield Jr. used a contraband phone to impersonate Kimmel, the 94-year-old CEO of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, which is behind movies such as Crazy Rich Asians and Hell or High Water.
Kimmel is worth $1.5 billion, according to Forbes.
In 2020, the 31-year-old Cofield managed to convince customer service representatives at Charles Schwab that he was Kimmel and withdraw $11 million. The money was then used to buy over 6,000 American Eagle one-ounce gold coins, which were flown to Atlanta via private jet.
According to the report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cofield also used the money to buy a mansion for $4.4 million in the upscale Buckhead area of Atlanta, helped by two others: Eldridge Bennett, 65, and his daughter, Eliayah Bennett, 27.
“As soon as Schwab was aware of suspected fraudulent activity, we launched an investigation, initiated measures to protect the client’s account, and notified the authorities,” said Charles Schwab, which reimbursed Kimmel in full.
Authorities suspect Cofield ran a similar operation before this one, taking $2.25 million from Nicole Wertheim, wife of billionaire businessman Herbert Wertheim. He is also facing pending charges of attempted murder after he allegedly asked gang members to kill a romantic rival while he was behind bars. He had already been serving a 14-year sentence for armed robbery.
The inmate has been charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. All three involved have pleaded not guilty.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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