Trial Nears Close in $6M Columbia Theft

Closing arguments began Friday in the trial of George Castro, Jeremy Dieudonne, Walter Stephens Jr. and Joseph Pineras

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    AP

    Defense lawyers say four men charged with stealing almost $6 million from Columbia University are innocent people implicated by a self-serving co-defendant.

    Closing arguments began Friday in the trial of George Castro, Jeremy Dieudonne, Walter Stephens Jr. and Joseph Pineras. Prosecutors have yet to give their summations.

    The Manhattan district attorney's office says the four manipulated Columbia's bill-payment system to siphon off money. Pineras worked there.

    Pineras' lawyer says a fifth man lied to prosecutors to incriminate the others and get himself a good deal.

    Castro's lawyer says Castro didn't realize stolen money was coming into his account. Dieudonne says he was just doing "perfectly legal business."

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