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Former Ohio prosecutor charged with tax fraud

A former Ohio prosecutor spent years pursuing the convictions of people accused of crimes, but is now himself accused of criminal activity. A federal grand jury recently indicted the former assistant prosecutor for Athens County for white collar crimes that include the filing of fraudulent tax returns and theft of government money.

Former prosecutor Michael ("Mickey") A. Prisley, of Columbus, and Tawnya Writesel, also of Columbus, each face eight charges in the indictments unveiled earlier this week by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

The pair is accused of conspiring with others to submit false income tax refund claims. They're accused of filing 167 false tax returns and receiving approximately $900,000 in fraudulent refunds.

According to a news article, Prisley was a long-time prosecutor, serving two stints in that capacity: one in the early 2000s and a later one that ended in 2013.

The federal prosecutor alleges that Writesel obtained ID information for people -- including Social Security numbers -- and used the information to falsely claim them as dependents.

Prisley would then have tax-refund checks deposited into bank accounts he controlled. He would then pay co-conspirators their shares from those funds, the federal prosecutor claims in court documents.

Prisley is also accused of providing co-conspirators with false powers of attorney forms so that they could "cash fraudulently obtained tax refund checks without the listed taxpayer’s knowledge."

He apparently "received drugs and controlled substances" in return.

We do not know if the allegations are accurate or not, but we do know that anyone facing similar accusations should speak with an attorney experienced in white collar crime defense before speaking with the prosecutor who seeks your conviction.

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