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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Man pleads not guilty in finance trial

August 19, 2008|Andrew Blankstein

The estranged husband of a woman stabbed to death in a Century City parking garage pleaded not guilty Monday to a federal charge of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

James Michael Fayed, 45, was ordered back to court Sept. 15 for a status conference, and his trial is set to begin Sept. 30.

His wife, Pamela, 44, was killed July 28. Although Fayed has not been charged in the slaying, prosecutors have said in court documents that he is "the primary suspect."

According to court documents filed by federal prosecutors, Pamela Fayed's criminal defense attorney notified prosecutors about a month before her slaying that she wanted to cooperate in a criminal probe into the businesses she owned with her estranged husband.

Prosecutors allege the killer's getaway car had been rented with James Fayed's credit card, which police later found in his wallet.

James Fayed was arrested Aug. 1 on a federal charge of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

-- Andrew Blankstein

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