P.M. BRIEFING : S&L; Chief Denies Guilt; Trial Set
Donald Ray Dixon, former owner of Vernon Savings & Loan, pleaded innocent today to all 38 counts of conspiracy and misapplication of the thrift’s funds and was ordered to stand trial Aug. 20.
In a brief arraignment before U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish, Dixon entered pleas of not guilty to all counts, which were returned by a federal grand jury June 13.
Visitors to the courtroom were subjected to close security checks.
Dixon, who helped build Vernon from a small thrift into a $1.7-billion giant before its collapse in March, 1987, could be sentenced to up to 190 years in prison and fined up to $9.5 million if convicted on all counts.
After hearing Dixon’s plea, Fish scheduled the trial to begin Monday, Aug. 20. Dixon will remain free until then on a personal recognizance bond. Government attorneys agreed to Dixon’s remaining free.