SW Ohio lawmaker sues over fraud allegations

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio lawmaker has filed a counter lawsuit against 14 investors who sued him last month, alleging he participated in a fraud cheating them out of more than $1.2 million.

The investors allege their money was improperly spent on non-business items including the 2010 election campaign of state Rep. Peter Beck of Mason. Those allegations have led to a legislative ethics committee investigation of Beck.

Beck's lawsuit filed Monday in Cincinnati denies investors' allegations, calling them false and malicious. Beck also wants the investors' lawsuit dismissed. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Beck's lawsuit says investors contacted the media and government agencies to embarrass and humiliate him in an effort to "extort" a settlement or other concessions.

The investors' attorney said he hadn't seen Beck's lawsuit and couldn't comment.

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