Gregory A. Oakes, 51, operator of two Howland-based security companies, has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of forgery and 10 counts of tampering with records.
Oakes was secretly indicted on the charges in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Andrew Logan on Tuesday ordered Oakes held in the county jail in lieu of $5,000 bond.
Oakes, of Howland Springs Road, operates Delta Elite and American Sentry security companies, which had several local companies as customers.
He lost his license through the state to operate Delta Elite in January 2007 for failing to pay state taxes or file state tax reports but continued to operate as if he did have a license.
He started the business in 1995, according to incorporation documents with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.
He started American Sentry Inc. in March 2006, but the license was canceled by the Ohio Department of Taxation in April 2011 for failure to pay state taxes or file state tax reports.
American Sentry’s license to operate was reinstated in January 2014, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Court documents say Oakes committed the crimes on or about Nov. 4, 2013.
If convicted, he could get more than 10 years in prison.