When more than one person is accused of the same crime, the possibility of at least one of the people involved providing information to prosecutors in exchange for a plea bargain exists. This often leaves the other party or parties at a disadvantage at trial. An Ohio lawmaker appears to be facing this dilemma in the theft and securities fraud case filed against him.

According to Ohio prosecutors, the lawmaker was involved in a scheme to defraud investors in which he personally profited. This was supposedly accomplished by providing false information to the investors about the financial status of a company with which he was allegedly involved. A man said to be the lawmaker’s former business partner is said to have brokered a plea bargain with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against the lawmaker.

The details of that agreement were not released. A pretrial hearing was scheduled to take place recently, and sources say the trial is scheduled for November. In the meantime, he refuses to resign his position and denies any complicity in the alleged scheme. Even so, his political party has turned its back on him despite the fact that our justice system affords him the presumption of innocence.

Being accused of crimes such as the theft and securities fraud charges filed against this Ohio politician can have immediate adverse effects on a person’s life and livelihood. Not only is a person’s freedom is on the line, but so is his or her reputation in the community as well. It is not enough to simply try to stay out of jail. In many cases, there is much more at stake, which is why an aggressive defense is often necessary.

Source: wcpo.com, “Peter Beck: Pretrial hearing set for indicted Ohio legislator“, , July 28, 2014