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Cleveland nursery school sues consultant for tax fraud

Sometimes, and especially in white collar crime cases, a defendant may face simultaneous allegations in criminal and civil court. That is the case for a 47-year-old tax consultant from Lorain County. He has already been jailed on a theft charge related to the alleged misuse of tax funds, and now several companies, including a Cleveland nursery school, have filed civil charges of tax fraud.

The school has accused the man of withdrawing approximately $117,000 over an 18-month period and informing school officials that the money was used for IRS and state taxes. School officials claim they only recently discovered that the taxes were never paid.

The tax consultant's partner, who is also a defendant in the civil suit, approached the nursery two years ago claiming to be part of a charitable organization. The partners allegedly offered the school a grant of $3,360 for the next two years. The school accepted. However, now school officials say the grant offer was merely a way for the defendants to get access to private information, including bank accounts, payroll and accounting data.

Other companies who suspect the consultant of wrongdoing have filed criminal charges, but the nursery school indicated that right now it only seeks immediate restitution of the monies lost.

When one company accuses an accountant or other financial manager of tax fraud or some other white collar crime, sometimes other companies will jump in and do the same. This can create an overwhelming situation for the defendant, making a strong and strategic criminal defense all the more necessary. Ohio residents who are facing similar charges need to be aware of their options for calling the claims of the prosecution and other litigants into question.

Source: The Chronicle-Telegram, "Additional tax fraud allegations surface against Lorain consultant," Brad Dicken, Sept. 20, 2012

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