Billionaire Henry T. Nicholas III pleaded not guilty Monday to federal criminal charges that he distributed drugs and that he led an accounting and securities fraud scheme while he headed Irvine, Calif.-based Broadcom Corp.
Nicholas, 48, left the courthouse shortly after 2 p.m., climbing into an awaiting Toyota Sienna van, declining to comment to a pack of news crews and photographers.
''Not guilty,'' Nicholas said in response to questions about the two cases. William J. Ruehle, 66, Broadcom's former chief financial officer, also pleaded not guilty in the securities case and left the building without making a comment. A trial date for both cases was set for July 29.