Second former NTG executive pleads not guilty John M. Collard, Chairman, Strategic Management Partners, Inc. was interim CEO for Network Technologies Group, Inc.
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John M. Collard, Chairman, Strategic Management Partners, Inc. was interim CEO for Network Technologies Group, Inc.
Second former NTG executive pleads not guilty        Text
by Larry Rulison, BBJ Staff

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February 5, 2003 

Second former NTG executive pleads not guilty

Larry Rulison Staff

Victor Giordani Jr., the former chief operating officer at Network Technologies Group Inc., pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to charges he and three other company executives doctored the company's financial records to secure more than $5 million in loans and venture capital financing.

Giordani, 55, is the second former NTG executive charged to plead not guilty in the alleged scheme. Tuesday afternoon, Beverly Baker, the company's former controller, also pleaded not guilty to the charges. Two other defendants, Michele Tobin, the former CEO, and Thomas Bray, the former chief financial officer, are scheduled to appear in court later this month.

NTG laid telecommunications equipment underground for companies like Comcast, BGE and AT&T. The company shut down and laid off all 125 workers last July after a consultant hired by the firm uncovered accounting irregularities. Federal law enforcement authorities have been investigating the case ever since.

All four former executive were indicted Jan. 22 by a federal grand jury for misleading Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co., the company's bank, and two investors, the Abell Foundation of Baltimore and Smith Whiley & Co. of Hartford, Conn. The Abell Foundation and Smith Whiley invested a total of $1.75 million in NTG early last year, and Mercantile had given NTG a $3.5 million line of credit. Only Mercantile has recovered any of its money. Last August NTG sold its assets at auction and gave the proceeds about $1 million to Mercantile.

After the court hearing, Gioradani declined to comment. His lawyer, Ricardo Zwaig, also declined to comment.

Magistrate Judge James K. Bredar set a trial date of April 7. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dale P. Kelberman said the trial would take four to five days. All of the defendants will be tried together unless any of them plead guilty. Giordani, who lives in Baltimore County, was released by the court, yet he must surrender his passport to the court and restrict his travel to the continental United States.


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