Three British bankers pleaded not guilty to fraud charges related to bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp. They were extradited from the U.K. yesterday and appeared in Houston federal court today. 2

Three British bankers pleaded not guilty to fraud charges related to bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp. They were extradited from the U.K. yesterday and appeared in Houston federal court today.

David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew are accused of bilking their former employer, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s Greenwich NatWest unit, out of millions of dollars from the sale of an Enron off-the-books partnership. A bail hearing has been scheduled for July 17.

The judge is considering whether to release the three men into the custody of one of their lawyers, Houston attorney Dan Cogdell, for the weekend. Bermingham, Darby and Mulgrew, known as the “NatWest Three,” were charged with seven counts of wire fraud in 2002 for allegedly skimming $7.35 million by misleading Greenwich NatWest about the value of an Enron partnership known as “Swap Sub.”

If convicted on all counts, they face up to 35 years in prison. The indictment accuses them of devising the plan with ex- Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and former Enron executive Michael Kopper. Fastow and Kopper, who received $12.3 million from the same deal, have admitted involvement in the Swap sub partnership.

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