Ex-‘LA Times’ Worker Gets 2 Years For Theft

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(AP) A former Los Angeles Times worker was sentenced to more than two years in prison for stealing $67,000 from the newspaper’s fund for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Michael Childress, 35, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading no contest to three felony counts of grand theft, prosecutor Oscar Plascencia said.

Childress was a temporary employee assigned to open mail containing donations to the fund. Authorities alleged between Sept. 20, 2001, and March 19 of this year, he took credit card information from donors and diverted the money into a bank account.

The Times learned of the scam when donors complained about receiving letters of thanks that contained numerous grammatical and spelling errors. Prosecutors said the letters were sent by Childress.

The Times told readers in March that some money from the $2.5 million fund had been misappropriated, but vowed to replace the money with corporate contributions.

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