DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Dayton businessman was found guilty of crimes related to the Dayton corruption probe.
Brian Higgins, 50, was found guilty of three counts of mail fraud and two counts of witness retaliation, according to a release from United States Attorney Kenneth L. Parker. The verdict was announced Thursday following a trial that began on Jan. 10.
According to court documents and trial testimony, in 2014 and 2015, Higgins filed an insurance claim in connection with water damage to the Meeker Creek Residence, an 8,000 square-foot house in Dayton. Higgins received more than $100,000 in insurance claims that he used for his personal benefit rather than to repair water damage that occurred from a large fish tank, according to the release. Higgins used the money for funding a new restaurant space, paying telephone bills, spending money at a casino and other personal expenses.
Parker said Higgins submitted invoices and repair cost estimates from a construction vendor to his mortgage company, falsely representing that he intended to buy the products to repair his house. He then diverted the money to himself and paid for travel, hotels and dining out, among other personal expenses. According to the release, Higgins used a fraction of the funds from the claim to complete small, cosmetic repairs in an attempt to cover up the scheme.
Higgins is the final suspect from the first round of federal indictments in the corruption probe. The other three suspects already pleaded guilty.