- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - Closing arguments began Wednesday in the trial of a former lawmaker accused of defrauding a technology company’s investors out of millions of dollars.

Defense attorneys said the government’s case has inconsistencies and has been patched together to try to make former Republican state Rep. Pete Beck into a scapegoat.

Hamilton County Judge John West earlier declined a defense motion to acquit Beck, a 62-year-old certified public accountant who pleaded not guilty to dozens of charges. The charges, including corruption, theft and securities-related counts, relate to his work as an official for the technology company.

The nonjury trial began in March. Closing arguments are expected to continue Thursday.

The former mayor of the northern Cincinnati suburb of Mason resigned from the Ohio House in November, shortly before his term was scheduled to end. In his resignation letter, Beck said he had some “personal matters” that would require his attention in December and keep him from attending the final days of the legislative session. He had lost his bid for re-election to the House seat he had held since 2009 when he was defeated in the Republican primary in May 2014.

His trial was delayed numerous times to allow both sides more time to review the large amount of material gathered for the trial. The original indictment was revised to reduce the number of charges.

Prosecutors said Beck served as chief financial officer of the now-defunct Christopher Technologies. He was accused of being part of an enterprise that misled investors, laundered money and improperly diverted investors’ money.

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Information from: The JournalNews of Hamilton, https://www.journal-news.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=jnfront?jnfront


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