CINCINNATI (AP) — A state appeals court on Wednesday overturned 10 of 13 criminal counts against a former Ohio lawmaker convicted last year of misleading investors at a company where he worked as an executive and using their money for personal gain.
A three-judge appeals panel ruled the trial court in Cincinnati erred in convicting Pete Beck of three securities-related counts and seven perjury counts. The ruling says the alleged crimes leading to the securities-related charges were outside the statute of limitations, and the panel couldn’t conclude Beck’s testimony related to the perjury counts was “clearly false.”
The panel let stand three counts of theft.
A Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge convicted Beck in June 2015 in a 10-week nonjury trial. The now-64-year-old Republican was acquitted at the time of all but 13 of more than three dozen charges. Beck was sentenced to four years in prison.
Dan Tierney, a spokesman for Ohio’s attorney general, said the office will review the ruling to determine whether to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Beck’s appeals attorney, Pierre Bergeron, said they were pleased with the ruling.
“This was a significant victory and a vindication, given how long he was on trial and all the counts that were raised against Mr. Beck,” Bergeron said.
He said Beck has served more than the one-year imprisonment Bergeron says was ordered for the theft counts, and he will seek to get Beck released from prison as quickly as possible.
The certified public accountant from Mason resigned from the Ohio House in late 2014, shortly before his term was to end. He lost a re-election bid in the May 2014 Republican primary. He had held the seat since 2009.
Prosecutors said Beck served as chief financial officer of the now-defunct Christopher Technologies. They said he was part of an enterprise that misled investors, among other things.
Beck’s attorneys contended he was a scapegoat who erred in trusting that the technology company was positioned to land major contracts.