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New Indictments Possible Against State Rep.
While both Ohio Republicans and Democrats are calling for the head of the State Ways and Means Committee to step down, so far State Rep. Peter Beck maintains he did nothing wrong.
He and Warren County businessman John Fussner are awaiting arraignment in Hamilton County. Knowing it's an on-going investigation, the question is: What's next?
For the answer we turn to the newsroom and Local 12 Reporter Rich Jaffe who broke the story. Last week's indictment of Beck and Fussner is just the tip of the iceberg here.
The Hamilton County Prosecutor and the Attorney General announced those indictments because the statute of limitations on securities fraud was running and they didn't want to let those guys off the hook. Now, their focus turns to the other people involved in the alleged scams.
Last Friday, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and Attorney General Mike Dewine announced the indictments of State Rep. Pete Beck and his business associate John Fussner for allegedly bilking investors out of 200,000 dollars through their insolvent company, Christopher Technologies.
At the same time they made it clear there is more to come.
Mike Dewine, Ohio Attorney General:
"The indictment handed down today by a Hamilton County Grand Jury is only a portion of this case, and it's not over, there's more, we very well could be coming back to a grand jury in the future."
Those subsequent grand juries will probably be looking at the people connected to another company, Beck was working for TML Consulting.
TML was basically Tom Lysaght, his wife Janet Combs and TML Consultant/CEO Chip Demois.
Of particular interest is hundreds of thousands of investor dollars that they believe went, not to start-up companies as promised, but to Janet Combs's Church...Ark By The River.
We interviewed one of those investors...Tom Walter, last fall.
"We have a number of checks that total hundreds of thousands of dollars that went directly to the church from the investor account."
Beck admitted to me that he worked as an accountant for both TML and Ark By The River...even writing checks for the church.
In 2010, Beck also received nearly 16,000 dollars in political contributions from TML.
One particularly curious transaction involves the transfer of half a million dollars to TML from upstate investors...and an immediate withdrawal by Janet Combs.
"The very day the wire came in, Tom Lysaghts wife Janet Combs wrote a check to her church Ark by the River for a hundred thousand dollars."
"I think people would expect us to take the lead in this and that's what we're doing...after this is over, other people can sort out what they think is appropriate to do...elections commission whoever..."
Investors have filed two different lawsuits against Tom Lysaght...TML...Janet Combs and the rest of them, hoping to recoup at least some of the money they lost.
Lysaght died in 2010, but many of the assets purchased by him and his wife are possible targets. She could also be looking at fraud and theft charges similar to those facing Peter Beck.
I spoke with Janet Combs' attorney Patrick Hanley today...and he had no comment. Both Pete Beck and John Fussner are expected to be arraigned in Hamilton County Court Friday.