Former financier Martin Armstrong pleaded not guilty to expanded charges of fraud on Friday, just days after he challenged a contempt order that has kept him imprisoned for more than four years.
Armstrong, who once headed Princeton Economics International, faces criminal charges that he stole billions of dollars from Japanese investors through an elaborate pyramid scheme.
Federal prosecutors originally charged Armstrong in 1999, but expanded those charges earlier this year in a superseding indictment. If convicted of the most serious counts, wire fraud, Armstrong could face up to 30 years in prison.
He was originally charged in 1999 with swindling Japanese institutional investors out of $1 billion, allegedly by running an elaborate pyramid scheme.
Armstrong, however, has been in jail since January 2000 for refusing to turn over $15 million worth of gold bars, rare coins and other assets.
Earlier this week, one of his lawyers filed papers challenging whether it is legal to hold Armstrong under the civil contempt order.