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Connolly Enters 'Not Guilty' Pleas at Federal Court

Watchung real estate developer faces 16 charges of fraud.

Watchung resident David Connolly, 50, entered not guilty pleas to all 16 counts of fraud in federal court this morning, according to the Courier-News

In a staff report from the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building and Courthouse in Newark, Connolly is reported to have entered the not guilty pleas at his arraignment.

He was charged on May 17 with one count of securities fraud, five counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and seven counts of money laundering relating to his real estate businesses.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman alleges Connolly operated a Ponzi scheme, using more than $50 million from investors in the complicated scheme, which netted more than $9 million in losses—much of which is believed to have been taken by Connolly.

Connolly was also charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with securities fraud.

If convicted of the securities fraud charge, Connolly faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. If convicted on the mail fraud or wire fraud charges, Connolly faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He also faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the money laundering charges.

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