Charges against Richard Wilson, 51, of Stewart, the husband of the City of Nelsonville’s ex-deputy auditor, Stephanie Wilson, were dropped Monday in Athens County Common Pleas Court.
The prosecution alleges that, in addition to the large sum of money already taken by Stephanie Wilson, at least another $45,000 in fraudulent tax returns were also withdrawn, an Athens County Prosecutor’s Office media release stated.
Stephanie Wilson’s March 8 indictment notes that she allegedly filed and processed inaccurate tax returns for her husband’s company, Wilson Construction.
Stephanie Wilson later allegedly created fake businesses for the purpose of collecting tax returns from Nelsonville. The ex-deputy auditor then reportedly opened bank accounts to deposit checks written by the city to these businesses, and then she closed the accounts.
Richard Wilson was charged in March with aggravated theft and theft in office in connection to the signing of fraudulent tax returns for his business, Wilson Construction.
However, the state is now asserting that the money that was reportedly defrauded from Nelsonville and deposited into Wilson Construction was accomplished without Richard Wilson’s knowledge, Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn noted in a press release.
The investigation reportedly revealed that Stephanie Wilson was involved in the financial operations of Wilson Construction and allegedly deposited the stolen funds from the city without her husband’s knowledge, the media release noted.
Blackburn stated that this behavior is consistent with facts from her previous conviction, “in that she used her son’s bank accounts to steal money from the city without his knowledge,” the press release stated.
“It’s disappointing that it appears again that Mrs. Wilson has used a family member to commit a theft and subjected him to liability,” Blackburn said in the press release. “As we continued to pursue the truth, the evidence cleared Mr. Wilson of involvement in this matter and therefore the State of Ohio moved to dismiss the case with prejudice.”
Previously, the former deputy auditor was sentenced in April to nearly five years in prison for stealing from the city, and she was ordered to pay back more than $200,000 in restitution. Additional charges against Stephanie Wilson, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and theft in office, are still pending, Prosecutor’s Office reported.
A pretrial hearing on her additional charges is scheduled for May 26.