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Police Say Man Tried to Defraud Bank of $1.4 Million

March 11, 2000

INGLEWOOD — A Berkeley man was arrested in Inglewood on Friday morning on charges of trying to defraud a bank out of $1.4 million using a fake Los Angeles Unified School District account, police said.

Patrick Cotton was taken into custody at the Imperial Bank, 9910 S. La Cienega Blvd., said Inglewood Police Lt. Alex Perez. Cotton, 41, was booked for forgery, burglary and attempted grand theft and held on $1.4 million bail.

Cotton had recently opened an account at the bank in the name of the district's food services branch, Perez said. "The opening deposit was a state of California warrant payable to the . . . district in the amount of $9,852,664.70."

Perez said Cotton doesn't have any connection to the school district. It is unclear how Cotton obtained the warrant, which had been reported stolen or lost earlier this year, Perez added.

"At the time of his arrest, the suspect was attempting to wire transfer approximately $1,400,000 out of the newly created account," Perez said.

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