FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – A Fort Collins man accused of swindling investors in a $3.4 million Ponzi scheme has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts of fraud and theft.

The Coloradoan reported Wednesday that Richard Novaria and partner Jeremy Hart were accused of running the scheme through the Windsor-based Dreamweaver Foundation between July 2006 and May 2008. A state grand jury indictment said the men promised their investors returns of 7 to 14 percent.

Novaria allegedly used the money to make interest payments to other investors while keeping at least $376,000 for himself.

His attorney said his client wasn’t aware of the scheme and isn’t responsible.

Novaria faces up to 12 years in prison and fines up to $750,000 if convicted.

In January, his partner was sentenced to nine years in prison under a plea deal.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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