The counts in the updated indictment replace those in two earlier indictments of Higgins, 50, who pleaded not guilty after the original indictment was announced in 2019. There is no indication in court records of a plea entered on the updated indictment issued Oct. 26. His attorney could not be reached for comment.
Higgins is scheduled for trial before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Rose on Jan. 10 on four counts of mail fraud, two counts of tampering with a witness and two counts of tampering with a witness with intent to retaliate, according to the indictment.
He is the final defendant remaining in the federal government's public corruption investigation announced in 2019 that led to the conviction of former Dayton City Commissioner Joey D. Williams, 55, of Dayton; former state representative Clayton Luckie, 58, of Dayton; and former Dayton city employee RoShawn Winburn, 47, of Huber Heights.
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 on Jan. 10.
Two businesses — Green Star Trucking, owned by former Trotwood Mayor Joyce Sutton Cameron, 73; and Steve Rauch Inc., owned by Steve Rauch, 66, of Germantown — also 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, Cameron, and her husband, James Cameron, 82, of Trotwood.
The case against Higgins involves allegations that he defrauded an insurance company that paid for repairs to his home. His is the only case unrelated to public contracting, and authorities said he came to their attention as they investigated the public corruption case involving contracts with the city of Dayton.
Earlier this year Higgins was ordered into custody for a psychological evaluation, which resulted in a report that he is competent to stand trial. Hearings are pending on defense and prosecution arguments related to that that evaluation.
(c)2021 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)
Visit the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) at www.daytondailynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.