The founder of Midamar Corp. chose to "stand mute" when asked to enter a plea to the 19 counts of misbranding "Halal" beef products, wire fraud, money laundering and falsifying export documents in federal court Thursday.

U.S. Chief Magistrate Jon Scoles entered a plea of not guilty for William Aossey Jr., 73, of Cedar Rapids. According to criminal procedure, a defendant can stand mute and the court is allowed to enter a not guilty plea for him/her. Aossey's trial is set Dec. 29 in U.S. District Court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Murphy told the court he wasn't seeking detention of Aossey pending trial, but because Aossey travels internationally for business, Murphy asked that the probation department be given at least 48 hours notice of Aossey's travel plans and itinerary. Murphy said he also wasn't asking for any restrictions on his passport.

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