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LA Times Exec Arrested for Theft

November 13, 1997

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A former Los Angeles Times executive was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing $800,000 by billing the newspaper for free-lance articles that were never written.

Charles Boesch, 53, was accused of preparing fake invoices and article summaries over a four-year period and submitting them to the Times’ accounting department for payment to outside accomplices, Deputy District Attorney Brent Collier said.

The alleged scheme was uncovered during an audit when then-Editor Shelby Coffey III reviewed the story summaries, Collier said.

``Once they started the audit, Shelby Coffey looked at the summaries attached to the invoices and realized, `We never ran any of these articles,‴ Collier said.

Boesch, a 34-year veteran at the Times, was fired from his post as editorial business director in July. He is accused of taking the money between October 1993 and January 1997.

Boesch, of Chino Hills, was in custody Wednesday after bail was set at $800,000. He was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday. It could not be determined if Boesch had an attorney: there was no telephone listing for a Charles Boesch in Chino Hills.

Boesch’s former son-in-law, Michael Wayne Coburn, 27, was arrested as an alleged accomplice and was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. A third defendant, Jacqueline Barrios, 20, was charged in the case but remained at large, Collier said.

Boesch and his former son-in-law were each charged with a single count of grand theft, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Times officials declined to comment beyond saying in a statement that the newspaper had been cooperating in the investigation for several months.

``Now that the district attorney has decided to prosecute the case, it would not be appropriate for anyone at the Times to comment further,″ the statement said.

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