Accused Georgia Hedge Fund Fraudsters Plead Not Guilty

May 19 2009 | 2:04am ET

Two Georgians accused of ripping investors off to the tune of $2 million in a hedge fund scam have pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges.

Gary Hutcheson and Saundra McKinney Pyles have been charged with five counts each of mail fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors say the two defrauded more than four dozen investors, among them members of Macon’s elite, in Hutcheson’s Georgia Ionics Fund of $2.11 million.

According to the complaint, Hutcheson stole some two-thirds of the money collected for Georgia Ionics, beginning in May 2006. He allegedly lost most of the $780,000 he actually did invest.

Hutcheson and Pyles were arrested last month in Colorado, a week after they were charged. Both have been ordered held without bail until a detention hearing tomorrow. If convicted, Hutcheson and Pyles face more than five years in prison.

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