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New indictment against State Representative
CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- More criminal charges come Thursday against a State Representative from Warren County.
Republican Peter Beck has been been named in a new, 53 count indictment. That's on top of 16 other counts against Beck filed this past summer. All of this began with a Local 12 News investigation.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine tells Local 12 News that the charges relate to allegedly false representations in the sale of securities. DeWine said he cannot address any specifics; although in general, securities fraud means a seller had information which should have been passed along to a buyer but was not.
The counts are engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity theft, perjury, securities fraud, and money laundering, among others. Court documents say Beck misrepresented the financial state of a company called C-Tech, stole half a million dollars from another company, diverted some money to his political campaign fund, and perjured himself.
Mike Dewine said on the phone, "While we believe that these were separate offenses and deserve separate charges, that decision will ultimately have to be made by the petit jury. But I think we need to point out that this arose out of what we believe the evidence will show, was a scheme. It all comes back to essentially one activity that we believe constitutes numerous offenses over a number of days against numerous victims."
Also named in Thursday's indictment on fewer but similar charges, a company called TML Consulting, a woman named Janet Combs, and a church Combs ran in Linwood called "Ark by the River Fellowship Ministries."
Beck has pled not guilty to the previous charges; however, late Thursday afternoon, Beck resigned as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Although not as a member of that committee nor as a state representative. In a statement, Speaker of the House, William Batchelder said he would like Beck to resign from the legislature, not just his committee chairmanship. Batchelder said while there is always a presumption of innocence, these are very serious allegations that could cause a distraction in the House and also to the needs of the residents of Warren and Butler Counties.
Thursday afternoon we received a statement from Representative Peter Beck's attorneys. It reads:
"While we are still reviewing the new indictment, it appears that the new charges presented to the Hamilton County Grand Jury are based on essentially the same evidence as the original indictment. The charges contained in both indictments are merely accusations - false allegations as to Peter Beck - and Mr. Beck steadfastly maintains his innocence in this matter. Mr. Beck looks forward to the trial starting on April 7th, and is confident that once the facts are presented in a court of law, he will be found not guilty of all charges."