A former executive of the Typhoon restaurant chain has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of stealing $1 million from the company.

The Oregonian reports that a grand jury indicted 54-year-old Richard Lee Anderson late last week on 22 counts of theft. He was arraigned Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

The former chief operating officer once publicly defended the Tigard-based company against allegations that it violated labor and wage laws. Prosecutors allege that he embezzled thousands almost every month between February 2009 and January 2011.

Deputy District Attorney Kevin Demer says Anderson collected and kept employees’ tax withholdings for nearly two years, leaving Typhoon co-owners Bo and Steve Kline in the dark.

Steve Kline died in August 2011 and Bo Kline closed the restaurants in February.

— Staff and wire reports