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Dayton area businessman pleads not guilty to illegal dumping charges

UPDATE @ 9:20 a.m.:

Dayton area businessman Steve Rauch pleaded not guilty today to multiple felonies he and his businesses are charged with.

One of his managers also pleaded not guilty to all charges against her in the case.

Rauch and Jennifer M. Copeland were both indicted last month in an illegal dumping case involving two of his businesses.

Rauch faces five counts and Copeland four counts for alleged crimes committed between January 2016 and late December 2016, court records show.

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Both Rauch and Copeland are free on their own recognizance.

They are both set to return to court Jan. 7.

INITIAL REPORT:

A prominent Dayton area philanthropist and one of his managers are set to appear in court today on several felony charges involving his businesses.

Steve R. Rauch and Jennifer Copeland have been summoned to be appear in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, where they were indicted last month on illegal dumping and related charges, court records show.

RELATED: Rauch was ordered repeatedly to clean up unauthorized waste

The charges announced by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office include several allegations of illegal dumping at three locations, according to court records.

One is a city of West Carrollton property that Rauch was permitted to use as a dump site in 2016, when health officials said they discovered 30 tons of illegally dumped debris there. Another is his licensed landfill, SRI. The third is Bearcreek Farms in Jefferson Twp.

Rauch, 63, of Germantown, faces three counts of open dumping and burning, and two counts operating a solid waste facility without a license.

RELATED: String of felony charges await businessman who changed Dayton’s skyline

Copeland, 32, of Franklin, also was indicted of three counts of open dumping and burning, and one count of illegal operation or maintenance of a construction of demolition debris facility.

The indictments also include charges against SRI and Bearcreek Farms, two businesses operated by Rauch.

Rauch has been a major sponsor and donor of Dayton area charity events while being noted for his controversial business dealings.

RELATED: Rauch, businesses face illegal dumping charges. Here’s what we know:

The court charges stem from a continuing investigation of Rauch and his companies involving local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service. The focus of the ongoing probe remains unclear.

The indictments issued last month came nearly two years after a December 2016 raid of Rauch’s properties. Search warrants used that raid remain sealed.

-MORE ON THIS ISSUE:

RELATED: Questions surround raids on businessman’s properties

RELATED: More illegal dumping found on West Carrollton land

RELATED: State crime lab involved in West Carrollton illegal dumping case

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