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News Release

Monday, April 15, 2002

Media Relations

Los Angeles Times Employee Arrested for Theft of Fund Monies


In response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Los Angeles Times established a Disaster Relief Fund to accept donations for victims of that disaster.

On March 12, 2002, the Los Angeles Times contacted the Los Angeles Police Department to report the theft of some of those disaster funds. Detectives from Financial Crimes Division were assigned to investigate this matter.

Information developed during that investigation indicated that approximately $64,000 had been illegally diverted from the fund by Michael Childress, 35 years of age, and a resident of Los Angeles. Mr. Childress had been hired by the Los Angeles Times as a temporary employee to process the disaster fund donations.

On Friday, April 5, 2002, the investigation was presented to the District Attorney’s Office for review. Mr. Childress was charged with three counts of grand theft and two counts of credit card fraud. A warrant was issued for Mr. Childress' arrest. Bail was set at $124,000.

On Monday, April 15, 2002, Mr. Childress surrendered to Detectives of the Financial Crimes Division at Parker Center and was booked for his warrant.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Edgar Whyte at the Financial Crimes Division at 213-485-4131. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk.

This press release was prepared by Officer Esther Mya Pe, Media Relations Section 213-485-3586.