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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Five former managers of Bloomington’s city-owned arena have entered not guilty pleas to charges they bilked the city out of more than $1 million.

The Pantagraph reports the owner, general manager and three employees of Central Illinois Arena Management appeared in McLean County Circuit Court on Friday.

The men were charged in an indictment unsealed Monday with 111 counts including money laundering, wire fraud, stealing city funds, filing false sales tax returns and conspiracy to commit tax evasion.

They were released after posting bond.

The charges followed an 18-month investigation into alleged mismanagement at what was then known as U.S. Cellular Coliseum. The indictment alleges the men began skimming money in November 2007 and continued until three days before CIAM’s 10-year contract with the city expired in 2016.


Information from: The Pantagraph,