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Beck to bypass arraignment in lieu of posting a $50K bond

The Warren County state representative facing 53 new charges from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will bypass a formal arraignment set for Friday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in downtown Cincinnati.

In lieu of that first court appearance on the new charges, attorneys for Rep. Peter Beck, R-Mason, filed documents Wednesday to allow him to post a $50,000 bond. This is the same bond Beck posted after he was indicted on 16 felony counts involving securities fraud and theft.

Beck was indicted on Feb. 13 on multiple counts of theft, perjury, telecommunications fraud, receiving stolen property, money laundering and securities sales violations connected with his involvement with Christopher Technologies LLC, a now-defunct technologies company. The former Mason mayor is also charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, which is a first-degree felony that carries a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.

A hearing is scheduled for March 7 before Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge John Andrew West.

The new charges came almost two months before Beck is set to go to trial on the 16 felony counts filed by the Ohio Attorney General’s and the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s offices.

Beck’s attorneys, Ralph Kohnen and Chad Ziepfel, of Taft Stettinius & Hollister in Cincinnati, could not be reached Thursday for comment, but said after the indictment that “it appears that the new charges presented … are based on essentially the same evidence as the original indictment.”

They are preparing for the April 7 trial on those 16 charges, which is to be heard by West.

The 60-page indictment on Feb. 13 outlines how Beck allegedly fooled investors, stole money and diverted cash into Becks’ campaign fund, TML Consulting and other entities. The activity is alleged to have occurred from 2005 to 2013 in Hamilton, Butler and Warren counties.

Beck was indicted in July on the initial 16 charges, which followed a civil suit filed by Christopher Technologies investors who say they were bilked out of $1.2 million. Beck’s attorney in the civil case, Warren County attorney Konrad Kircher, said that case won’t proceed until after the criminal proceedings occur.

Beck was appointed to his Statehouse seat in 2009 and was elected twice, and has proclaimed his innocence. He’s refused to resign his seat despite calls for it from Ohio House leadership and the Ohio Republican Party.

Beck is running for re-election for the 54th Ohio House District — which includes the southwestern part of Warren County and a small portion of Butler County in Middletown — but is being opposed by fellow Mason residents Mary Jo Kubicki and Paul Zeltwanger have been certified by the Warren County Board of Elections to be on the May 6 GOP primary ballot.

Columbus bureau reporter Laura Bischoff contributed to this story.

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