Mastro Defendants Plead Not Guilty

The three men charged with mail and wire fraud after a lengthy investigation into the business practices of Mastro Auctions have pleaded not guilty according to the New York Daily News.

Attorneys for company president Bill Mastro and executives Doug Allen and Mark Theotikos entered those pleas in U.S. District Court in Chicago, according to this blog post.

Last week, the three were indicted by a federal grand jury after agents claimed to have evidence linking them to shill bidding and failure to disclose important authentication information about items they were selling  in auctions run by the company prior to its closure in 2009.

Allen moved on to form his own company, Legendary Auctions, where Theotikos now works.

Mastro’s attorney indicated that he expected his client’s case to end without a trial and it’s still possible Mastro will plead guilty.

Attorneys for Allen and Theotikos told reporters last week that they would fight the charges.

A fourth defendant, William Boehm, 63, of Ballwin, Missouri, who was Mastro Auction’s director of information technology, was scheduled to enter a plea on Friday according to court papers obtained by Sports Collectors Daily.   Boehm was charged with one count of making false statements to FBI agents investigating Mastro Auction’s practices.