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IN BRIEF / Orange County / TUSTIN

Chamber Honoree Is Arrested in Fraud Case

July 29, 2006|From Times Staff Reports

A businessman once honored by the local Chamber of Commerce has been arrested on suspicion of fraud, officials said this week. Timothy Melvin Childress, 26, was being held without bail at Orange County Jail on suspicion of kiting checks, burglary and grand theft.

Childress, who was the chamber's ambassador of the month in December, allegedly made fake deposits from a checking account associated with his defunct printing business, Epifero Inc.

A Tustin bank lost $14,000, and banks in Lake Forest and Orange were swindled out of $30,000, police said.

Childress wrote bad checks at a Santa Ana Home Depot to buy $70,000 worth of power tools that he may have intended to sell, authorities said. He will be arraigned Wednesday in Santa Ana.

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