April 23, 2001 - Columbus, Ohio
- Ohio Businessman Pleads in Criminal Tax Case
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A former New Philadelphia
mobile home dealer pleaded not guilty Thursday (April 19) in
Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court to tax and theft
charges, including failing to remit sales taxes between 1995
Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) officials believe it is the
largest criminal sales tax case in Ohio history.
The charges against Steven D. Schwartz, formerly owner of
Schwartz, Inc., were returned in a secret indictment by a
Tuscarawas County Grand Jury on March 15. Schwartz is
specifically charged with five counts of failing to remit
sales tax, five counts of filing false or fraudulent tax
returns with intent to defraud, six counts of aggravated
theft, 12 counts of grand theft and two counts of engaging in
a pattern of corrupt activity. All charges relate to taxes.
The amount of sales tax that Schwartz allegedly collected but
did not remit remains confidential tax information until it
becomes a matter of public record through the court
If convicted of all counts, Schwartz could be fined a minimum
of $80,000 and sentenced to a minimum of 50 years in prison.
"This is a complex case that we’ve investigated for more than
two years," Ohio Tax Commissioner Thomas Zaino said of the
charges against Schwartz. "We hope this will alert other Ohio
businesses of how serious a responsibility it is to remit the
sales taxes they collect---and how much trouble can ensue if
The case was investigated by the ODT Criminal Enforcement
Division and auditors from the ODT Zanesville District
Office. Zaino praised Tuscarawas County Prosecuting Attorney
Amanda Spies Bornhorst and New Philadelphia Police for their
assistance in the case.
The matter is expected to go to trial in about nine months.
Schwartz resides in Key West, Fla., where he was free to
return while the case is pending.
(For more information contact Gary Gudmundson, Communications
Director at 614-644-6903.)