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GREAT FALLS (AP) - A Great Falls man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to stealing more than $11,000 in a grain sales scheme.

Bradley Jay Riehl, 45, faces federal charges of bank fraud, mail fraud and four counts of forging grain checks.

Riehl was vice president of Riehl Land and Grain Co. and a partner in BJ & CJ Farming for about six months, beginning in August 1998. A federal indictment says he got financing for those businesses from Mountain West Bank, based on future crop sales, government program payments and other agribusiness proceeds.

When Riehl sold the grain, however, he had the buyers make the checks out to a third party, then forged the third-party signature and kept the money for himself, the indictment alleges. It says Riehl did not disclose the grain sales to the bank or to his brother and parents, who were his business partners.

A trial date has not been set.

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