Dayton businessman indicted in corruption investigation to get mental health evaluation

Dayton businessman Brian Higgins faces trail on federal charges. He pleaded not guilty.
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Dayton businessman Brian Higgins faces trail on federal charges. He pleaded not guilty.

Local businessman Brian Higgins, who was indicted as part of a federal public corruption investigation in the Dayton region, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on Wednesday for a mental health evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial.

Higgins, 50, of Dayton, was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service after a May 24 hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Rose. He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on May 24 and released to the custody of the marshals service today.

Rose’s ruling came after Higgins’ attorney submitted a sealed motion requesting an evaluation of his competency to assist in his defense, according to Rose’s order filed on May 25.

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Prosecutors did not object.

Rose said there is “good cause” to believe Higgins is not competent and “there is reasonable cause to believe that the Defendant is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him incompetent to the extent that he is unable to properly assist in his defense or to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings,” according to Rose’s order.

Rose ordered Higgins to be committed to federal custody for not more than 45 days and placed at a federal facility in Butner, North Carolina, or another suitable facility for a mental competency evaluation.

Higgins was indicted on three counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of tampering with a witness. He pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial on Aug. 2.

Indictments in the federal investigation of public corruption in the Dayton region were announced in April 2019 and additional indictments were announced later that year.

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In December prosecutors added the witness tampering charges and one wire fraud charges to the ones Higgins had earlier been indicted on.

Three people indicted in the investigation were convicted and sentenced to prison: former Dayton City Commissioner Joey D. Williams, 55; former state Rep. Clayton Luckie, 57; and former Dayton city employee RoShawn Winburn, 47. Luckie served his term, Williams was released early last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Winburn was granted a delay to begin serving his term until Sept. 6.

Green Star Trucking, owned by former Trotwood Mayor Joyce Sutton Cameron, and Steve Rauch Inc., owned by Steve Rauch of Germantown, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to engage in mail fraud and were fined. In exchange for the plea, charges were dropped against Rauch, 66; Cameron, 72; and her husband, James Cameron, 82, of Trotwood.

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