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IN BRIEF

Four Rite Aid Execs Plead Not Guilty

July 12, 2002|Associated Press

Former Rite Aid Corp. Chairman Martin L. Grass and three other onetime Rite Aid executives pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges stemming from their alleged participation in accounting irregularities intended to make the company more attractive to investors.

Grass, 47, of Virginia Beach, Va., who doubled as the company's chairman and chief executive; Franklin Brown, 74, of Harrisburg, Pa., the former chief counsel and vice chairman; and Franklyn Bergonzi, 57, of Hummelstown, Pa., a former executive vice president and chief financial officer, face allegations of conspiracy to defraud, fraud involving the purchase or sale of securities and making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Also arraigned was Eric S. Sorkin, 53, of Mechanicsburg, Pa. Sorkin, executive vice president for pharmacy services, was suspended last month after he was indicted on charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to a grand jury.

In NYSE trading, Rite Aid shares fell 8 cents to $2.38.

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