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Ex-Wilmington Trust president makes first court appearance

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RANDALL CHASE, Associated Press

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Former Wilmington Trust president Robert Harra Jr. has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges stemming from an ongoing a federal investigation into the collapse of the century-old financial institution.

The 66-year-old Harra said little during a court appearance Thursday, but his lawyer told the judge that Harra “vehemently maintains his innocence.”

Harra is charged with conspiracy, securities fraud and making false statements to federal regulators and false entries in banking records. He faces up to 225 years in prison and $16.25 million in fines if convicted on all counts.

Harra is the highest-ranking former Wilmington Trust official to date to be charged in the investigation, which has netted several guilty pleas.

As a condition of his release, Harra was ordered to post a $25,000 unsecured bond and surrender his passport.

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