Tanaka Pleads Not Guilty to Latest Charges

Prominent Thoroughbred owner Gary Tanaka and business partner Alberto Vilar pleaded not guilty to wire fraud and other charges added to a new federal indictment alleging the pair defrauded customers of millions of dollars through their company, Amerindo Investment Advisors, Inc.

Tanaka was arrested in May on a criminal complaint containing three counts of fraud. He pleaded not guilty July 28 at a hearing in the Southern District Court of New York to charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, investment advisor fraud, mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and four counts of money laundering.

Vilar and Tanaka were originally charged in separate criminal complaints but are now co-defendants under the latest federal grand jury indictment, which was unsealed July 26.

Vilar was initially indicted for stealing $5 million from client Lily Cates, the mother of actress Phoebe Cates. The new indictment added Tanaka to that case.

The earlier criminal complaint accused Tanaka of stealing $3.28 million from Amerindo investors to buy racehorses. The new indictment doesn't make that allegation. Instead, it adds a new claim that Vilar and Tanaka used $3.1 million of Cates' money to pay another investor in 2002.