- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man who disappeared after authorities say he staged a boating accident has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.

Andrew Biddle, of Egg Harbor Township, entered his pleas during an arraignment hearing Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the charges stem from a series of fraudulent transactions that Biddle and another man committed through their boat sales business. Biddle has not yet been charged in relation to his disappearance.

The 45-year-old Biddle was reported missing July 20 after he and another man went into the water when their pontoon boat hit a buoy in Longport. His friend swam to shore and called police to say Biddle was missing.

The Coast Guard searched for Biddle, but law enforcement officials said two weeks later they believed the accident was staged.

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