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Development partner pleads not guilty to investor fraud

March 7, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The business partner of a former Portland developer has pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges.

The Portland Press Herald reports Paul Hess entered his plea Wednesday to charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud.

Prosecutors say Hess and Michael Liberty tricked investors into putting millions into a technology startup while diverting money for their own use.

A civil suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission says investors lost nearly $50 million.

Liberty is scheduled to make his initial court appearance next week, and his attorney says he denies the charges.

Liberty is known for Portland developments including twin office towers at 100 Middle Street and Chandler’s Wharf waterfront condominiums.

Hess has been released on personal recognizance following his hearing.

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Information from: WBAE-AM, http://ilovethebay.com