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Attorney says Cleveland man accused of wire fraud maintains his innocence
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The attorney for a Cleveland man accused by federal authorities of wire fraud said Friday he maintains his innocence and plans to fight all charges.

Elmer Swain Stewart, 64, of Cleveland, was arrested Feb. 12 and charged with wire fraud. An FBI news release said Stewart faces accusations of taking investment money for deals “that do not exist.”

Stewart’s federal defender Natasha Perdew Silas released a statement Friday.

“Mr. Stewart does not appreciate the flurry of press activity spawned by FBI statements indicating that they are looking for victims of his conduct when no court has convicted him of any wrongdoing,” Silas wrote in a statement. “Mr. Stewart plans to defend himself against the charges when the trial of this matter is set and asks that the press reports respect the process of law and not indicate that the accusations against him are anything more than just that, accusations.”

The FBI wrote in a news release that it believed there were more victims in the alleged investment fraud scheme based on seized documents.

“Based on those recently seized documents, there is a concern that there are numerous other as yet unidentified victims of Mr. Stewart and his alleged investment fraud scheme residing primarily in the Gainesville, Georgia area,” the news release states.

Stewart was indicted on Jan. 10 and was accused of accepting $225,000 for deals involving timber rights, Clarke County subdivision lots and a Stephens County golf course.

Stewart is accused of accepting these payments between January 2006 and January 2010.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the FBI Atlanta field office at 404-679-9000.