Indictment: Businessman used insurance money at casino, for phone bill

A Dayton businessman charged as part of a corruption investigation allegedly used insurance money at a casino, and to pay for a planned restaurant and his phone bill, according to an updated indictment filed in federal court.

The indictment, filed Dec. 12, says Brian Higgins, 48, defrauded insurance company Assurant out of more than $100,000 by falsely claiming that the money was being used to repair damage from a leaking fish tank on a home he co-owned on Meeker Creek Drive in Dayton.

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Higgins and his attorney could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

He previously pleaded not guilty to the three counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. The updated indictment, which replaces the December 2018 indictment that was unsealed in April, includes the same four charges against Higgins but provides more details on the allegations.

RELATED: Indictments prompt city of Dayton to strengthen anti-fraud efforts

Higgins allegedly sought assistance from a business identified in the indictment as Company A to conceal diversion of the insurance money for personal use rather than for the repairs.

He has not submitted a plea on the counts in the updated indictment.

Higgins is one of seven local people indicted as part of a federal public corruption investigation in the Dayton region.

His case does not involve public contracting allegations like the other defendants. Authorities said they became aware of Higgins’ alleged criminal activities in the course of that investigation.

So far two people — former Dayton city commissioner Joey D. Williams and former state lawmaker Clayton Luckie — have pleaded guilty.

RELATED: Three new indictments expand Dayton public corruption probe

Higgins owned the now-defunct Sidebar 410 restaurant in the Oregon District.

Another previous business of his, GSSP Enterprise, had a contract to haul bodies for the Montgomery County Coroner’s office. That contract was terminated after a 2012 Dayton Daily News investigation found GSSP was delinquent on hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal and state taxes and that Higgins had an undisclosed business relationship with Ken Betz, who was then the director of the coroner’s office.

Indicted in federal public corruption probe

• Steve Rauch, 64, of Germantown, owner of Steve Rauch Inc., pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and six counts of mail fraud.

• Joyce Sutton Cameron, 71 of Trotwood, owner of Green Star Trucking Inc. and former mayor of Trotwood, pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and six counts of mail fraud.

• James Cameron, 81, of Trotwood, an employee of Green Star and Cameron’s husband, has not entered a plea to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and six counts of mail fraud.

• Former Dayton City Commissioner Joey D. Williams, 53, pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing on one count corruptly soliciting a bribe.

• Former state Rep. Clayton Luckie, 56, a Democrat who represented Dayton, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months in prison, four months in home detention, three years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service on one count of mail fraud.

• Former city of Dayton business and technical assistance administrator RoShawn Winburn, 45, pleaded not guilty to three counts of honest services wire fraud, two counts of corruptly soliciting a bribe and one count of making a false statement to the FBI.

• Dayton businessman Brian Higgins, 48, pleaded not guilty to three counts of mail fraud and one of wire fraud.

Source: U.S. District Court for the Southern District

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