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6 plead not guilty in Va. bank fraud case

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Local,Crime

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A January trial is set for four former Bank of the Commonwealth executives and two borrowers on bank fraud charges.

Media outlets report that all six defendants pleaded not guilty to the federal charges Wednesday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Tommy E. Miller scheduled their trial for Jan. 8.

Former bank president and CEO Edward J. Woodward Jr.; former vice presidents Simon Hounslow, Stephen Fields and Woodward's son, T. Brandon Woodard; and borrowers Tommy Arney and Dwight Etheridge were indicted last week on charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud.

The indictment says the former bank executives masked non-performing assets at the bank for their own personal benefit and to the detriment of the bank.

The bank failed in 2011.

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