A former Bank of America Corp.broker Wednesday pleaded not guilty to 40 counts of fraud, grand larceny and falsifying business records as part of a sweeping probe of the mutual fund industry.
Theodore Sihpol was indicted April 5 for allegedly helping hedge fund Canary Capital Partners LLC trade mutual funds illegally. Canary was at the center of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's investigation of abusive fund trading.
The judge in the case set a tentative trial start for February 2005. Sihpol is due back in court May 19 for a routine administrative hearing.
Sihpol, 36, was the first person Spitzer arrested in his probe. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America fired Sihpol in September after Spitzer said the broker helped set up Canary's improper trading relationship with the bank.
Spitzer said Sihpol arranged to give Canary an electronic trading platform that let it trade funds as late as 8:30 p.m., but still get the price when the stock market closed at 4 p.m.
Spitzer's office has said Sihpol faces 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison for the grand larceny counts and up to 4 years for the counts alleging fraud and falsifying business records.
Sihpol also faces possible fines of at least $5,000 on each count. He remains free on $750,000 bail.
Bank of America and FleetBoston Financial Corp., which it took over April 1, in March agreed to pay $515 million and give up $160 million in fees to resolve charges related to improper fund trading.