NEW YORK CITY- A Billings businessman pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court in New York to charges related to an alleged $43 million bank-fraud scam.
Todd Capser, 47, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott of the Southern District of New York for the case.
He was arrested and made an initial court appearance in Billings earlier this month, but the case was moved to New York because one of the banks involved operates there.
Capser, a former aide to the late U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana and energy executive, is accused of falsifying documents to obtain a $43 million loan from a Canadian bank, Third Eye Capital Corp., to buy two oil tankers.
After falling behind on loan payments, Capser allegedly approached nine different banks across the country seeking financing for the loan, prosecutors state in charging documents.
Prosecutors state he listed false assets, including ownership of a ranch and cattle company, and fabricated documents in an attempt to obtain the loan.
Capser was released after posting a $100,000 bond. His travel is restricted to New York and Montana.
His next court appearance is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 4.