Trial set for Jan. 24 in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Share story

Frederick Darren Berg pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges that he ran a massive Ponzi scheme for nearly a decade that bilked investors out of more than $100 million.

Trial was set for Jan. 24 in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Berg, a Mercer Island resident, was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on 12 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud.

Prosecutors say Berg took in more than $280 million from investors for his Meridian Group of investment funds. But instead of investing the money in real-estate contracts — the funds’ purported purpose — he used it instead to finance a luxurious lifestyle, operate a high-end charter-bus company, and pay back older investors with newer investors’ funds, prosecutors say.

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Berg was arrested Oct. 21 in Los Angeles, and has remained in custody since.

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.