A former drug enforcement official employed by accused swindler Allen Stanford has pleaded not guilty to charges that he illegally ordered shredding of documents in the fraud case.
Thomas Raffanello entered the plea Friday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. The 61-year-old Raffanello rose to became head of global security at Stanford Financial Group after leaving five years ago as chief of Miami's U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration office.
Prosecutors say Raffanello illegally supervised destruction of Stanford records despite a court order that they be preserved. The three charges against Raffanello carry a combined maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
Raffanello's attorney says his client is innocent and that the destroyed documents were only duplicates.