PORTLAND, Maine — A celebrated chef says she is not guilty of a charge that accuses her of writing nearly $9,000 in bad checks.

Shannon Bard, who was the chef and co-owner of Zapoteca in Portland and Toroso in Kennebunk, Maine, was released on personal recognizance after making her initial court appearance Tuesday. The Portland Press Herald reports Bard faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

Shannon Bard and her husband, Thomas, were indicted by a grand jury this month on charges of writing bad checks to alcohol distributor Bow Street Distributing.

Bard’s lawyer says prosecutors haven’t turned over any evidence that indicates Bard has committed a crime. Bard is due back in Cumberland County Superior Court in June.

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