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UK Enron bankers plead not guilty to fraud charges

[JURIST] Former NatWest [corporate website] bankers David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew, pleaded not guilty Friday to a total of seven counts of wire fraud [indictment, PDF] for an allegedly fraudulent sale of Enron stock. The bankers were extradited to the US [JURIST report] Thursday following a three year court battle to prevent the extradition. The extradition also prompted protests from British MPs [JURIST report] who argued that the US-UK Extradition Treaty [text, PDF; Statewatch backgrounder] is "lopsided." Upon hearing the three bankers' pleas, US Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith accepted the $100,000 offered by Bermingham and Darby and $20,000 offered by Mulgrew as security and released them into the custody of their attorney Dan Cogdell.

During their release the defendants must wear electronic monitoring devices and follow a curfew, but the men requested the ability to return to the UK following the bail hearing scheduled for July 21. Magistrate Smith had insufficient information to decide the issue Friday, and Assistant US Attorney Leo Wise insisted the men should remain in the country throughout their prosecution. The trial is scheduled to begin September 11. Bloomberg has more. The Houston Chronicle has local coverage.

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