YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio man charged with defrauding
fellow Amish in 29 states out of nearly $17 million balked at
entering a plea at his arraignment, so the judge entered a not
guilty plea on his behalf.
Seventy-seven-year-old Monroe L. Beachy, owner of A&M
Investments in Sugarcreek, was arraigned Thursday before federal
Judge Benita Pearson in Youngstown. He was released on bond.
Defense attorney J. Gerald Ingram had advised Beachy not to
follow through with his insistence on pleading no contest on
religious grounds. Ingram said that wouldn't be in his client's
Amish traditionally avoid involvement in the court system. The
religion issue also emerged earlier in a bankruptcy filing
involving Beachy's company.
Investigators allege Beachy promised investors safe securities
but moved money to riskier investments.