(AP) A former Los Angeles Times temporary worker pleaded innocent to the theft of $64,000 from a Sept. 11 relief fund — an alleged scheme that unraveled when donors complained about getting sloppy letters of thanks.
Michael Childress, 35, entered his plea Tuesday in Superior Court to multiple theft and grand theft felony charges. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors alleged Childress, hired as a temp to open mail with charity donations, charged donors’ cards to a bank account he opened using the same initials as the newspaper fund. He then sent donors letters of thanks riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, prosecutors said.
Los Angeles Times Publisher John Puerner said the newspaper would make corporate contributions to replace those lost to the fraud.