NEW LONDON, Conn. — A former lawyer and judge insists he didn’t steal more than $400,000 from a pair of clients.

John Butts, a former Salem probate judge who practiced law in Colchester, is accused of taking more than $428,000 from two clients. The Norwich Bulletin reports Butts pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree larceny Tuesday at Superior Court in New London.

Police say Butts wrote checks to his business account, his personal account and to his wife during the time he was representing the clients. He was arrested in January after a state police investigation.

He is due back in court on May 23.

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