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BCI investigating business deal involving local lawmaker

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation is investigating a business deal involving state Rep. Peter Beck, the Dayton Daily News has learned.

BCI&I spokeswoman Lisa Hackley confirmed the agency is assisting with the investigation, but declined to elaborate on Monday.

Beck, R-Mason, is a certified public accountant and a former Mason mayor who was appointed to the state legislature in 2009. He did not return a message seeking comment.

Beck’s attorney, Konrad Kircher, said he was not aware that BCI&I was involved with the investigation until informed by a reporter.

He said Beck did nothing wrong.

“Everyone’s jumping on this pile. The sad thing is we can’t fight back yet,” Kircher said.

The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Securities was already looking into the deal, which is the subject of a $1.2 million fraud lawsuit filed in Hamilton County earlier this month.

The Ohio Department of Commerce licenses and regulates companies offering investment products, and also investigates fraud allegations.

No charges have been filed.

Beck and others were sued in Hamilton County earlier this month by a group of 14 investors who allege Beck and others defrauded them out of $1.2 million.

Besides Beck, the Hamilton County lawsuit also names among others Janet Combs, a Cincinnati pastor who did not return a message for this story, and companies owned by Combs’ late husband, Thomas Lysaght.

The investors allege their money was spent for personal benefit, given to Combs’ church and donated to Beck’s political campaign. Beck represents the 54th District which includes parts of Warren and Butler counties including the Lebanon and Mason areas.

The investors allege Lysaght, who died in 2010, solicited from them nearly $1 million to invest in companies associated with his investment firm, TML Consulting.

The lawsuit also says that Beck sought investments for Christopher Technologies, one of the companies under the TML umbrella.

Kircher denied that Beck recruited any investors for any companies connected to Lysaght.

“Maybe he (Lysaght) was using Pete’s prestige and his position to benefit himself and make these sales. But Pete never solicited anybody,” Kircher said.

Not so, said J. Thomas Hodges, the Cincinnati attorney representing the investors.

“For some of my investors, Pete Beck was their point of contact,” Hodges said. “He asked them to be involved. If that’s not soliciting investors, I don’t know what is.”

The lawsuit identifies Beck as CT’s chief fiscal officer, although Kircher said that was just an empty title. Beck is a former owner of the company, according to a 2009 financial disclosure filing.

The lawsuit singles out two donations to Beck’s campaign totalling $15,000 made by TML Consulting, Lysaght’s company, in March and August 2010.

The $15,000 makes TML Consulting Beck’s single largest political contributor, other than the Ohio Republican Party. Both donations came days after investors made significant payments to TML.

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