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PHILADELPHIA – A July 10 trial date set to settle any remaining claims against Robert L. Bentley, has been cancelled at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a March 23 order, Judge John Pullam granted the SEC’s request to cancel the trial date against Robert L. Bentley and his defunct firms Bentley Financial Services, Inc. and Entrust Group. Through his firms, Bentley sold fake certificates of deposits from 1994 to October to 2001 to hundreds of credit unions, banks and individuals. Collectively, they invested more than $370 million in the CDs. Bentley pled guilty to mail fraud and bank bribery charges in March 2005, began serving a 55-month sentence on Dec. 6 and was ordered to pay investors back $24 million. So far, Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads LLP, the court-appointed receiver, has returned $339 million back to claimants. The SEC’s remaining claims were for disgorgement and civil money penalties against Bentley and his firms, according to a motion submitted Feb 23. SEC counsel had conferred with Bentley’s attorneys, who had no objection to canceling the trial date. On March 23, Fullam said the SEC has withdrawn its complaint and the July 10 trial date has been cancelled.

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