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Former State Representive Beck Guilty On 13 Criminal Charges

Howard Wilkinson

Former State Representative Peter Beck could face years in prison after being convicted Tuesday morning on 13 of 38 criminal charges against him.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge John West announced his verdict from the bench; then met with lawyers from both sides in chambers. He found Beck not guilty on nearly two-thirds of the charges.

He was found guilty, though, on seven charges of perjury, three theft charges and three counts of securities violations.

The charges stem from Beck’ s involvement in a company called Christopher Technologies, or C-Tech. He and others involved in the company were accused of bilking investors of millions of dollars.

West said that Beck would undergo the normal pre-sentence investigation and would be sentenced in his courtroom August 20. West asked if Beck had a passport; and his attorney, Ralph Kohnen, told the judge Beck had surrendered his passport when he posted bond. Beck will remain free on bond until sentencing.

The sentencing range for the perjury charges is six to 18 months in prison for each count. On each of the three theft charges, the sentence could range from nine months to 30 months. On the securities violations, Beck faces three to 10 years in prison.

The courtroom Tuesday morning was full of people who had invested in C-Tech, many of whom testified against Beck in the 10-week trial. West told those people they would be allowed to make statements in open court on August 20 before the sentence is imposed.

The verdict came nearly two years after the original indictment against Beck, who was once one of the most powerful members of the Republican-controlled Ohio House.

It was one of the longest criminal trials in Hamilton County in many decades – 43 days over a 10-week period. Beck waived his right to a jury trial, so West decided his guilt or innocence on the charges.

The Mason Republican resigned from the Ohio House in December. Last spring, while under indictment, he ran for his house seat in a Republican primary and lost.