Amish no-contest plea issue delayed in Ohio court

AP News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2011 9:09 AM
Amish no-contest plea issue delayed in Ohio court

A court appearance has been delayed for an Ohio man who wants to plead no contest on religious grounds to charges that he defrauded fellow Amish in 29 states out of nearly $17 million.

A federal judge in Youngstown has postponed Tuesday's arraignment until Oct. 27 for 77-year-old Monroe L. Beachy. He operated A&M Investments in Sugarcreek.

His attorney says a no-contest plea wouldn't be in Beachy's best interest. Such a plea is a rarity in federal court.

Beachy told The Associated Press he won't comment on the plea issue. The Amish traditionally avoid involvement in the court system.

Another judge rejected a bid by members of Mennonite and Amish communities to let them settle Beachy's company bankruptcy out of court. Church members said Beachy had accepted their guidance.