The former CEO of Humboldt Creamery says he’s not guilty of fraud in connection with financial problems that bankrupted the former farmer cooperative. Rich Ghilarducci entered his plea in federal court Wednesday.
The U.S. Attorney’s office charged Ghilarducci with making false statements to creditors implying the creamery had millions more cash on hand than it did. He resigned abruptly last February, leaving dairy operators unpaid for their milk and local businesses in a financial lurch. Ghilarducci faces 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million, if convicted.