Peter Beck, a state lawmaker from Mason, is accused of participating in a fraud that cheated investors out of more than $1.2 million, a Hamilton County lawsuit alleges.
Beck, who didn’t return Friday calls, is a Republican representing Ohio’s 54th House District.
Fourteen investors – many from Hamilton, Butler and Warren counties and others from as far away as Pennsylvania and Alabama – filed the Thursday suit.
It accused Beck, the Milford accounting firm of Donohoo, Cupp, Beck & Associates, Ark by the River Fellowship Ministry and others of defrauding them by taking their investments and spending that money instead on personal and other non-business items.
“Pretty amazing, isn’t it?” asked Cincinnati attorney J. Thomas Hodges who filed the suit on behalf of the 14 accusers, led by Thomas Walter of Madeira.
At least $15,000 of the money the suit alleges was defrauded went to help Beck win election in 2010.
“Beck, who was running for state representative for the State of Ohio, received a check for $5,000 made payable to his campaign fund, Friends of Pete Beck, treasurer Donohoo. There was another check written to Beck’s campaign … for $10,000,” the suit notes.
The suit also accused TML Consulting, affiliated with Thomas Lysaght before Lysaght died; Janet Combs, Lysaght’s widow; and Chip DeMois, owner of CRT Resources, Inc. Those named in the suit either didn’t return calls or emails, said they knew nothing about the suit or couldn’t be reached Friday.
“Beck was the accountant that I would say was primarily responsible” for helping hide the alleged frauds, Hodges said. “He wasn’t just the accountant. He solicited.”
The suit accuses Beck and others of soliciting investors for money for several entities.
Beck, the suit alleges, was the chief financial officer for start-up software company Christopher Technologies but also solicited investments and sold ownership in the same company. The suit alleges those accused solicited money but used little of it for the actual purposes. It also alleges those accused of misleading investors about what actually was the “poor” financial conditions of the companies in which the money was to be invested.
The suit also alleges two unnamed law firms of participating in the scheme. Thus far, no known criminal charges have been filed in the case.
The suit seeks to require the investors be repaid in full and for unspecified compensatory and punitive money damages from the accused.