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PHOENIX -- The owner of two Phoenix-area restaurants accused of trafficking in stolen identities has pleaded not guilty.

Maricopa County prosecutors said 40-year-old Bret Frimmel entered his plea Tuesday.

He's scheduled to be in court again Wednesday for an oral argument to modify release conditions.

Frimmel is the owner of the Uncle Sam's restaurants in north Phoenix and Peoria.

He was arrested on Jan. 22 on suspicion of four counts of trafficking the identity of another, four counts of identity theft and two counts of forgery.

The restaurant's 53-year-old manager also was arrested in the case on similar charges.

Officials with the county Sheriff's Office said they began investigating the restaurants in October 2012.

Associated Press,

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