GOP House Speaker Bill Batchelder responds to questions about Rep. Peter Beck (R-Mason), specifically about his calls for Beck to resign and later placement of the lawmaker on a study committee. Beck has been indicted on fraud charges. Beck denies the charges and has retained legal counsel:
Here’s the earlier Ohio House GOP release on the matter:
COLUMBUS—Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) today released the following statement regarding the allegations facing Representative Peter Beck:
“Representative Peter Beck has served the Ohio House of Representatives and the people of the 54th District honorably and has done great work as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. However, given the serious nature of the charges facing Representative Beck, it is my belief that it is in the best interest of the Ohio House, the people of his district, and his family for him to resign from the Ohio House at this time.
“It is of the utmost importance that members of this sacred institution protect the public’s trust and be a voice for their district. While there is always a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, it is my belief that these very serious allegations could cause a distraction to the good work of the Ohio House of Representatives. Therefore, I believe this action would be in the best interest of not only the residents of the 54th House District and the members of the Ohio House of Representatives, but also Representative Beck and his family.
“There are several important initiatives currently being considered by the Ways and Means Committee that will continue uninterrupted. These are proposals that will have a long- standing impact on the state of Ohio, and Ohioans can rest assured that we will continue the diligent work on these issues.”
And here’s the release on the indictment:
(CINCINNATI) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph T. Deters today announced the indictments of State Representative and Certified Public Accountant Peter A. Beck and John W. Fussner by a Hamilton County grand jury in connection with their activities involving Ohio software company Christopher Technologies, LLC, or CTech. The indictments follow a referral from the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Securities.
Beck was indicted on 16 felony charges:
• two counts of misrepresentations in the sale of a security
• two counts of unlicensed sale of securities
• two counts of fraud in the sale of securities
• two counts of sale of unregistered securities
• two counts of selling securities in an insolvent company without full disclosure
• two counts of making a false statement about the financial condition of an issuer
• four counts of theft by deception
Beck faces a possible maximum sentence of 102 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
Fussner was indicted on 7 felony charges:
• one count of misrepresentations in the sale of a security
• one count of unlicensed sale of securities
• one count of fraud in the sale of securities
• one count of sale of unregistered securities
• one count of selling securities in an insolvent company without full disclosure
• one count of making a false statement about the financial condition of an issuer
• one count of theft by deception
Fussner faces a possible maximum sentence of 43 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
John W. Fussner was the President and Peter A. Beck was the Chief Financial Officer of CTech. Victims lost approximately $200,000.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters commented, “I am pleased that the Attorney General’s office is vigorous in investigating and prosecuting these types of cases. Theft is theft whether it is a simple theft of merchandise from a store or the sophisticated scheme perpetrated by Beck and Fussner.”
Attorney General Mike DeWine commented, “John Fussner and Peter Beck knew CTech was insolvent and yet they did not disclose this to investors. They knew the truth, and yet deceived investors to get their capital to keep the company afloat and use the money for other purposes.”