About 30 NY not guilty pleas in Russian mob case

NEW YORK (AP) — About 30 people charged in New York with participating in what investigators say was a Russian organized crime operation that included illegal, high-stakes poker games have pleaded not guilty.

The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/179gTLl ) reports the suspects were arraigned Friday in federal court.

Federal authorities say the poker players included pro athletes and Hollywood celebrities but haven’t named them.

The money laundering investigation led to arrests Tuesday across the country, including in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

The newspaper says prosecutors told a judge investigators recorded up to 25,000 phone calls, tapping nine cellphones over four months.

Among those who pleaded not guilty was Hillel Nahmad, of the prominent Helly Nahmad art gallery. Defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman tells the newspaper his client didn’t knowingly violate the law.

Trial is set for June 9, 2014.

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Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com

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