Ohio Rep. Peter Beck has until mid-December to decide whether to plead guilty or set a trial date in his securities fraud case after a judge agreed to delay a Thursday hearing to his lawyers more time to review tens of thousands of pages of evidence.
The Mason Republican appeared before Judge John Andrew West in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, where he faces charges that he gave investors bad information about a software startup company called Christopher Technologies.
Beck pleaded not guilty in July to the 16 felony counts. The hearing to set a trial date had already been rescheduled once. It’s now set for Dec. 18.
Authorities charge that Beck, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, knew the company was insolvent but solicited investments for it anyway while lying to at least three men identified as John Does in court documents. Beck has denied the allegations.
Beck, a certified public accountant, was the chief financial officer for the software company, according to the charges.
He was also tied since the 1990s with the late Cincinnati money manager Thomas Lysaght – who founded Christopher Technologies and several other limited liability corporations – and Lysaght’s East End church, called Ark by the River Fellowship. Authorities say more than $100,000 of investors’ money was illegally funneled from Lysaght’s companies to the church, whose pastor is Lysaght’s widow.