Federal authorities say an inmate in Georgia’s most secure prison impersonated a billionaire movie mogul and stole at least $11 million: report

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Arthur Lee Cofield Jr. assumed the identity of billionaire Sidney Kimmel and stole $11 million from him, a report said.

  • Arthur Lee Cofield impersonated a movie mogul stole to steal at least $11 million, per a report.
  • He impersonated Sidney Kimmel using contraband cell phones, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
  • The 31-year-old reportedly committed the crime while being held in Georgia’s most secure prison.

Federal authorities found evidence that an inmate in Georgia’s most secure prison impersonated a billionaire movie mogul in a scam that netted him at least $11 million, according to court papers. 

Arthur Lee Cofield Jr., 31, ran an operation inside the Georgia Department of Corrections’ Special Management Unit in which he tricked customer service representatives at Charles Schwab into believing he was California billionaire Sidney Kimmel, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported on October 7.

Kimmel, 94, is the chairman and CEO of the production company Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. 

According to the court documents, federal authorities said Cofield used contraband cell phones to contact the financial services company and managed to get $11 million wired to a company in Idaho to purchase 6,106 American Eagle one-ounce gold coins. The scheme took place between June 4 and June 16, 2020, the court records showed.

He then chartered a private plane to transport the coins to Atlanta and bought a mansion in Buckhead, Georgia worth $4.4 million.

Charles Schwab told Insider in an emailed statement: “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.” 

The US Department of Justice and Cofield’s lawyer, Steven Sadow, declined to comment.

“Cofield was a shrewd, intelligent individual who could con you out of millions,” Jose Morales, a warden at the Special Management Unit, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Authorities suspect Cofield had other victims.

Federal prosecutor Scott McAfee said at his bond hearing two years ago there was evidence suggesting Cofield conducted a similar operation when he stole $2.25 million from Nicole Wertheim, the wife of Florida billionaire Herbert Wertheim, per the court documents.

Cofield was already serving a 14-year sentence for armed robbery, per the report. After Fulton County issued a warrant for his arrest for orchestrating a shooting in Atlanta that left the victim paralyzed, he was transferred from Georgia State Prison. 

Cofield is still awaiting trial and faces charges of attempted murder, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Cofield has been charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering, to which he pleaded not guilty, the newspaper reported.

Authorities believe Eldridge Bennett, 65, and his 27-year-old daughter Eliayah were part of the scheme, but have also pleaded not guilty.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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