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Former Beverly Hills broker charged in conspiracy

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say they've charged a former Beverly Hills stockbroker with manipulating stocks to generate millions of dollars in profits.

U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said in a statement that 44-year-old Andrew Baum pleaded not guilty Monday to nine counts, including wire fraud and conspiracy. Baum turned himself in earlier Monday.

Baum is the third person charged in the investigation. Prosecutors allege Baum and the others issued fake press releases and traded shares among themselves to increase the value of stocks they bought.

Prosecutors say they then sold to investors who lost money when the price of the stock plummeted.

They allegedly made more than $5 million in profits for their manipulation of one company alone.

Baum's case is due for trial June 11. He is free on $5,000 bond.