By Ed Runyan
Gregory A. Oakes, 51, owner of three Howland-based security companies, is facing additional criminal charges.
The charges are based on allegations that he misled customers last week into believing he still was licensed to operate — even after he was indicted on felony charges related to the companies.
He was indicted in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on April 15 on 10 felony counts of forgery and 10 felony counts of records-tampering in relation to two of the companies, Delta Elite and American Sentry.
On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanor charges filed earlier Tuesday in Warren Municipal Court by the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Private Investigator Security Guard Services.
One charge accuses Oakes of engaging in private-security services at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Champion after losing his license from ODPS PISGS in November 2012.
Another charges him with authorizing or permitting another person to violate Ohio law relating to working without a security license. The third alleges he knowingly advertised himself as having a security license when he did not.
Oakes was in Trumbull County Jail on Tuesday afternoon after being video-arraigned from the jail.
Oakes also was charged Monday with eight new misdemeanor offenses in Youngstown Municipal Court and faces arraignment at an undisclosed later date on those charges.
They allege he engaged in similar illegal activity in relation to security services provided to The Vindicator and 21 WFMJ-TV in Youngstown after he had lost his licenses.
An Ohio Department of Public Safety investigator told Warren prosecutors he visited representatives at the career center Thursday — two days after Oakes was indicted — and learned that Oakes had just been there and had told officials he could still provide them with security services despite his indictment.
The investigator also went to Jamestown Village Plaza on Mahoning Avenue, The Vindicator and 21 WFMJ-TV and discovered that Oakes’ security guards also were still working there, some of them under the name of another unlicensed Oakes company called Diversified Global Security.
The investigator also found Thursday that Oakes still was maintaining websites for Delta Elite and American Sentry, which also is not permitted since he no longer has a PISGS license.
Oakes’ PISGS license was revoked, the investigator said, because Oakes had provided PISGS with a falsified letter of good standing from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.
When investigators executed a search warrant at Oakes’ Howland Springs Road home and office Nov. 4, 2013, they found forged PISGS licenses that Oakes had provided to businesses in Youngstown and Warren indicating that he was a licensed security provider, the investigator said.