The publishers of the Pasadena Gazette, a weekly black community newspaper, have pleaded not guilty in U. S. District Court to one count of conspiracy and four counts of federal bank fraud in connection with obtaining $252,000 in loans. Hillard Hamm, 60, and his wife, Beverly Jean Hamm, 45, were arraigned Nov. 2 in Los Angeles after their indictment Oct. 22 by the Los Angeles County Grand Jury.
The indictment alleges that the Hamms used false information to obtain loans from Far Western Bank in Tustin, Sunwest Bank in Newport Beach, First Arroyo Bank in South Pasadena and Great Western Bank in Canoga Park.
In addition, Hillard Hamm was charged with one count of perjury in connection with his testimony before the grand jury. The indictment alleges that Hamm lied about his connection with John DeMattia, who was indicted by the grand jury as an alleged Mafia associate, according to the U. S. attorney's office.
The indictments against the Hamms grew out of a joint investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department's organized crime and intelligence division and the Los Angeles Strike Force of the U. S. Department of Justice.