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3 BofA Workers Arrested in Credit-Card Fraud Case

March 22, 1985

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Three Bank of America workers were arrested Thursday in connection with an alleged credit-card theft ring operating out of the bank’s Southern California credit card center in suburban Pasadena, authorities said.

It is the third time in two years that BofAs Credit Card Center in Pasadena has been the focus of investigations of credit-card scams. But it is the first time that BofA employees have been implicated.

The arrests also come while BofA’s parent, San Francisco-based BankAmerica Corp., is still suffering from a tarnished image in the wake of an alleged mortgage-securities fraud.

BofA was escrow agent for the bad securities, and BankAmerica was forced to take a $95 million writeoff in the fourth quarter last year to cover its losses in the deal.

Secret Service spokesman Al Joaquin said credit cards and confidential card information on about 10,000 bank customers was allegedly stolen and sold in the scheme.

But he said it was impossible at this time to accurately estimate how much money was charged on the cards.

″We simply can’t tell without tabulating all 10,000 accounts,″ Joaquin said. ″It could range anywhere from $1,000 to $2 million or $3 million.″

Joaquin said the stolen information would be embossed on blank credit cards, which would be used until the credit limit was reached.

Joaquin identified those arrested as Larry Courtney, 32, and Otis Lee Richard, 23, both of Pasadena, and Paris Rene Burden, 22, of Altadena.

The three, all employees of the bank’s credit card center, were held for investigation of fraud and forgery, Joaquin said.

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