Businessman wrapped up in Dayton corruption probe sues government informant

A man facing federal insurance fraud charges stemming from a local public corruption probe is suing the government’s informant in the case, saying the informant was the one responsible for pocketing insurance money.

The lawsuit was filed today in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court by Brian Higgins, acting as his own attorney.

The civil lawsuit is against Michael Marshall, his now-defunct company United Demolition, and former business partner Scott Waters.

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The lawsuit says Higgins hired United Demolition in 2014 for repairs to Higgins’ Butler Twp. home exceeding $30,000. The lawsuit says United Demolition received more than $30,000 from his insurance company but didn’t do the work or return the money.

It says Higgins called Dayton police to United Demolition’s office in downtown Dayton in November 2014 for a theft complaint because United Demolition didn’t do the work or return the money. The Dayton Daily News last year obtained police dispatch records confirming that call.

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The suit seeks more than $30,000, plus interest and damages.

Higgins has pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges accusing him of pocketing money paid by his insurance company to repairs at his Meeker Creek home caused by a leaking fish tank. The indictment says the insurance company lost more than $100,000.

Higgins is accused of telling the confidential informant to do only part of the repairs and give him the remaining money, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Federal officials said when Higgins was indicted that his case was linked to a federal corruption probe that led to convictions of former city commissioner Joey Williams, former state lawmaker Clayton Luckie and former Dayton city employee RoShawn Winburn.

A Dayton Daily News investigation found, based on records and interviews, that Marshall is a government informant in the investigation and United Demolition was involved in the cases of Williams and Higgins. Marshall denied he is the informant.

Marshall declined to comment Friday.

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