Inmate accused of impersonating California billionaire: Report

Strange News

(NewsNation) — A Georgia inmate allegedly used a contraband cellphone to impersonate a billionaire, secured thousands of gold coins, then arranged to buy a multimillion-dollar home, according to reports citing court records.

In what’s being called one of the biggest heists ever to be pulled off from behind bars, 31-year-old inmate Arthur Lee Cofield Jr. is accused of stealing $11 million from Hollywood movie mogul and billionaire Sidney Kimmel.

Cofield is serving a 14-year sentence for armed robbery at a Georgia state prison in Butts County, about 45 miles south of Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Cofield Jr. allegedly impersonated Kimmel in 2020 with the help of a contraband cell phone from inside the Georgia Department of Corrections Special Management Unit.

According to the report, Cofield used the phone to call and convince a Charles Schwab customer service representative to wire millions out of Kimmel’s account.

He then sent the money to Idaho, the newspaper reported, bought more than 6,000 gold coins, flew them on a private plane to Atlanta where Cofield allegedly used some of the money to buy a multimillion-dollar mansion.

Kimmel owned the Jones Apparel Company, which has brands like Stuart Weitzman and Nine West. He sold that company in 2014 for $2.2 million.

Now 94 years old, Kimmel makes movies with his production company. He’s behind movies like “Moneyball”, “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Hell or High Water.”

Cofield has masterminded crime from behind bars before. He is facing attempted murder charges for ordering a shooting in Atlanta, while locked up.

It is also suspected that Kimmel was not the only wealthy person Cofield stole from.

“Mr. Cofield has figured out a way to access accounts belonging to high net worth individuals, frankly billionaires, located across the country,” a federal prosecutor said in court.

Cofield and two accessories pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering.

Kimmel was reimbursed in full by Charles Schwab, the newspaper reported.

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