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Men plead not guilty to defrauding railroad

SMITHVILLE — Two Smithville men face a September trial on charges they defrauded the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that 47-year-old Kenny Avery and 44-year-old Allen Duncan pleaded not guilty yesterday to one federal count of fraud by wire, radio or television.

Their July 1 indictment, sealed until the hearing, told Magistrate Jerry A. Davis that the men conspired to receive more than $350,000 from BSNF by submitting fictitious invoices for services never rendered.

The newspaper reports Avery was a BNSF employee and Duncan operated Smithville Hardware Co.

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