Jury selection began Monday in a multi-million-dollar fraud trial, but only after Arlan Galbraith first stood in a Kitchener courtroom to plead not guilty.

Galbraith is charged with criminal fraud and four Bankruptcy Act offences in connection to Pigeon King, the pigeon-raising business he ran for several years.

Approximately 1,000 farmers are said to have invested between $20 million and $30 million in Pigeon King, expecting returns on those investments.

Pigeon King investors say they were told the birds would be sold as meat or used in racing.

Instead, the company declared bankruptcy in 2008, with Galbraith following suit the following year.

He was arrested and charged in 2010 after a lengthy police investigation.

Galbraith is representing himself during the trial, which is expected to last between six and eight weeks.