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Judge pleads not guilty to investment scam charges

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A Clark County family court judge has pleaded not guilty to what prosecutors call a $3 million, decade-long investment fraud scheme.

Judge Steven E. Jones entered the plea Thursday and was allowed to go free, but ordered to stand trial Jan. 8.

Five others face charges in the case.

Prosecutors say defendants convinced people to loan them money by telling them one defendant had a special position with the federal government and could get them high returns. But defendants allegedly spent the money for personal and gambling expenses and never paid it back.

Prosecutors say Jones used his position to give the alleged scheme legitimacy, and conducted business for it from the courthouse.

An indictment unsealed Wednesday includes conspiracy, wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering charges.