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Beard, Williams plead not guilty to forgery charges

by Matt Jones | September 2, 2015 at 10:06 a.m.
Arkansas guard Anton Beard guards Maurice Aniefiok of North Texas during a game Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

— One current and one former Arkansas basketball player pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of first-degree forgery.

Anton Beard and Jacorey Williams were arraigned in Washington County Circuit Court. Prosecutors charged Beard with three counts of first-degree forgery, while Williams was charged with one count.

First-degree forgery is a Class B felony in Arkansas and carries a sentence of five to 20 years in prison, a $15,000 fine or both.

Judge Ray Reynolds scheduled their trial date for Oct. 27 in Washington County Circuit Court.

Both, along with Arkansas basketball player Dustin Thomas, were arrested in July after being accused of passing counterfeit money at Fayetteville businesses. According to an arrest report, Beard was shown using the bills at three locations, Thomas at two locations and Williams at one location from July 17-18.

In addition to purchasing merchandise, Beard was shown exchanging six counterfeit $50 bills for three real $100 bills at one location, according to an arrest report.

In July, all admitted to using the money but denied knowing it was counterfeit. Beard and Williams had no comment at Wednesday's hearing.

Beard and Thomas are suspended indefinitely from the Razorbacks' program but remain enrolled in classes at the University of Arkansas. Williams was dismissed from the basketball program last month and has since transferred to Middle Tennessee University.

Formal charges have yet to be filed against Thomas, who has an arraignment scheduled for next Wednesday.

Bob Holt and Ron Wood contributed to this story.

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