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CPA's forgery complaint may lead to court battle
Written by Larry Limpf   
Friday, 05 March 2010 11:27

An Oregon accountant’s allegations that a state auditor forged tax documents containing his signature appear to be substantiated by an internal investigation by the department for which she works.

But nearly six months after filing a complaint against Rebecca Thatcher and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Joel Dollarhide, a certified public accountant with Tucker, Kissling & Associates, still plans to file a lawsuit to procure documents he claims the department has been keeping from him and recover financial damages.

Dollarhide’s complaint alleges Thatcher, an ODJFS unemployment compensation auditor, forged tax forms that had his signature on them when she was conducting an audit last summer of his client, a Sylvania builder.  He said the forged audit forms show the builder as under-reporting employee wages to the Internal Revenue Service with his signature to certify the figures.

Thatcher, who was working out of the department’s Toledo office, completed the audit in June, 2009. Much of her work focused on the builder’s wage and tax records for 2007.

While reviewing the results of the audit, Dollarhide noticed that three ODJFS quarterly wage report forms were copied from a third-quarter form he had signed when Thatcher was in his office in May.

"At no time did I give Mrs. Thatcher the authorization to copy or use my signature on the other three tax forms and or any other forms,” Dollarhide says in his complaint. The department’s investigation, which was concluded in November but only released to him last month, states the evidence supports his claim.

 
Complaint based on principle
Written by Larry Limpf   
Friday, 05 March 2010 12:27

Joel Dollarhide’s complaint centers on an Ohio Department of Job and Family Services audit of a client’s reported employee wages in 2007.

The audit contends the client under-reported wages that year by $19,257:
• $5,641 in the first quarter
• $11,642 in the third quarter
• $1,974 in the fourth quarter

Multiply the total by Ohio’s 0.4 percent contribution rate for unemployment tax and the client appeared to owe a little more than $77 in additional contributions for the year.  The department also levied $23.90 in interest based on the audit figures.

Dollarhide has been pressing the ODJFS for details – by employee name – of the wages the department says were under-reported for each quarter.

“I have reviewed the payroll reports for these periods and can not determine how you arrived at the (under-reported) wages,” he writes in a June 18 letter to the compliance auditor.

To date, he hasn’t received the data.

If the audit results would stand, his client could also lose a state credit deductible from federal taxes, Dollarhide said, adding the credit would be around $500.

In addition, the Internal Revenue Service would levy interest and penalties and Dollarhide’s accounting firm could be held liable for the client’s losses.

 
Threat hearing set for April 26
Written by Press Staff Writer   
Friday, 05 March 2010 11:56

        A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for April 26 in Ottawa County Municipal Court for an Elmore man accused of posting threats on a Facebook page against the Arabian Horse Rescue Mission.

        According to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, Shaun Harder, 23, was arrested Feb. 26  on one count of aggravated menacing , a first degree misdemeanor.

        One of the comments posted by Harder on his Facebook page states: “the horses need ppl like us; the Arabian Horse rescue group needs to be slaughtered like livestock,” according to the sheriff’s department.

        On Jan. 29, Ottawa County Humane Society personnel went to a Carroll Township farm to remove horses which were suffering from severe malnourishment and dehydration.

        Forty-two charges of animal cruelty were filed in municipal court against Robin Vess, 54, who was living at the farm on Behlman Road.

        Sheriff Bob Bratton said Harder has been a volunteer with the Humane Society. That agency   became embroiled in a dispute over custody of the horses with Arabian Horse Rescue Mission, of New Jersey.

        The sheriff said a detective from his office was contacted Feb. 19 by the Toledo office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance regarding the threats on the Facebook page.

        More than 30 rescued horses were transported to the Sandusky County Fairgrounds to be rehabilitated and then sent to foster homes.

        At the time, Nancy Silva, Ottawa County Humane Officer, said she and rescue team members found one dead foal at the Vess farm and three horses that were down and had to be euthanized. One horse had to be euthanized after it was taken to the fairgrounds.

 
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