LOS ANGELES — The former operator of an Orange County telephone answering service pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he swindled $2.5 million from four financial institutions and used it to live the high life.
John Tyler Hancock VI, 40, entered the plea to charges of mail and wire fraud and interstate transportation of property obtained by fraud. Trial was set for Nov. 17 before U.S. District Judge Ferdinand Fernandez.
When Hancock was arrested Wednesday and appeared before a federal magistrate, prosecutors said he obtained the money by telling four financial institutions it would be used to buy new switching equipment for his company, the now-defunct American Communications Network of Newport Beach.
From June, 1983, to July, 1985, Hancock obtained about $2.5 million in loans from ITT Credit Corp. in Pennsylvania; General Electric Credit Corp. in Canton, Ohio; Citicorp Industrial Credit in New York, and First National Bank of Blue Island outside Chicago.
But prosecutors said he pocketed the money and went to Aspen, Colo., where he lived opulently, inviting 300 guests to a lavish 40th birthday party he threw for himself in January at a posh nightclub.