Rooftop Owner Pleads Not Guilty to Charges He Cheated Cubs

CHICAGO (AP) — A 46-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to cheating the Chicago Cubs out of royalty payments so patrons could view games at Wrigley Field from his rooftop club.

R. Marc Hamid’s lawyer entered the plea Thursday at an arraignment in federal court in Chicago. The co-owner of Skybox on Sheffield faces four counts of mail fraud for allegedly defrauding the Cubs and tax authorities out of $600,000.

The Chicago businessman told U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Brown he understood the charges and that he could face up to 20 years in prison on each count if convicted.

Rooftop businesses offer views of games without being inside the stadium. Ongoing renovations to modernize the ballpark and place signs that obstruct rooftop views prompted several rooftop businesses to sue in separate civil cases.

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