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King, Wife Plead Innocent To Credit Union Charges Trial Is Ordered For Franklin Officer - May 24, 1989 - Omaha World-Herald

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May 24, 1989 King, Wife Plead Innocent To Credit Union Charges Trial Is Ordered For Franklin Officer; [Sunrise Edition] David Thompson. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb. pg. 19

Full Text (654 words)
(Copyright 1989 Omaha World-Herald Company)

Two stories on one Basis record.

Lawrence E. King Jr. told a federal magistrate Tuesday that he is "innocent, not guilty" of 40 counts of conspiracy, fraud, embezzlement and federal tax violations arising from the disappearance of more than $38 million from the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union.

King, manager and treasurer of Franklin when federal regulators closed it in November, and his wife, Alice Ploche King, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Richard Kopf for arraignment on charges brought in a federal grand jury indictment.

Mrs. King also pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and 11 counts of fraud.

Six Minutes in Court

King, 44, and Mrs. King, 42, spent six minutes in the courtroom. They were accompanied by attorneys Steven Achelpohl and Marilyn Abbott, representing King, and Jerold Fennell, representing Mrs. King.

Kopf departed from his usual practice of setting a schedule for filing pretrial motions and a trial date and said he will hold a conference with the attorneys June 13 to establish a schedule.

The time between Tuesday's arraignment and the conference will not apply to the 70-day limit set by the Speedy Trial Act, the magistrate said. The 70-day time span during which the trial must start will begin running after the conference. Attorneys for the Kings and the federal prosecutor, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Thalken, said they agreed with Kopf.

Complex Case

Thalken said the procedure is being followed because of the "complexities" of the case, which involves a large number of documents. The day after authorities raided the credit union office, they rented a trailer to haul away documents to an undisclosed location for examination.

Achelpohl and Fennell said defense attorneys have agreed not to comment publicly on the case.

The indictment handed up Friday by the federal grand jury in Omaha alleged that the Kings and others conspired from July 1976 through last week to obstruct justice in the collection of federal income taxes, defraud the government functions of the National Credit Union Administration and commit other types of fraud.

Attorneys for the Kings waived the reading of the 26-page indictment.

Same Terms

Kopf released the Kings on the same terms as he approved Friday, when they were arrested.

At that time, the Kings were ordered not to violate any federal, state or local laws, to advise the court and the U.S. Attorney's Office in writing if they change their address and to appear at all court proceedings as ordered. They were not required to post any bail.

They were escorted into the magistrate's courtroom by a deputy U.S. marshal through a side door, and they were allowed to leave through the same door while spectators were ordered to remain in their courtroom seats.

Trial Is Ordered For Franklin Officer

Robert Morley, 35, of Ashland, Neb., was ordered to stand trial June 26 on charges that he filed false income tax returns for 1986-87 and lied to a federal grand jury last November during its investigation of the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union.

Morley pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Richard Kopf. He faces trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Lyle Strom.

Morley was one of three Franklin development officers who sold certificates of deposit for the credit union to be indicted on federal tax charges.

The others, Noel Seltzer, 37, of 3806 Patterson St., and Larry J. Murray, 39, of 4001 N. 42nd St., pleaded not guilty during earlier arraignments. They are to be tried before U.S. District Judge William Cambridge.

Morley is accused of failing to report $32,945 in income for 1986 and $65,314 for 1987 on his tax returns. He also is accused of telling the grand jury Nov. 14 that he averaged $6,000 a year in commissions for selling certificates of deposit when he actually received $65,314 for 1987 and $206,383 for 1988, according to the indictment.

King and wife, Alice . . . appear for arraignment before U.S. magistrate.

Bill Batson/World-Herald -
Credit: World-Herald Staff Writer

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