Former county educator indicted for tax fraud

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 10, 2013

CINCINNATI — A former Lawrence County School Superintendent has been indicted on tax fraud charges by a federal grand jury.

The jury has charged Harold J. “Bucky” Shafer, 66, of Pedro, with 10 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent income tax returns and two counts of filing false income tax returns.

Shafer retired from the Lawrence County Educational Service Center in October 2008 at the age of 62 because of health issues. He had been county school superintendent since 1993 and gave 42 years of service to education in Lawrence County including a tenure as an educator in the Symmes Valley School District.

Email newsletter signup

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office (IRS), announced the indictment returned Wednesday.

The indictment alleges that Shafer prepared returns for customers of his tax preparation service that falsely represented that the taxpayers were entitled to claim expenses and deductions he knew they were not entitled to claim.

The indictment also alleges that Shafer filed fraudulent tax returns on his own behalf for two tax years reporting that his business earned income of $426 one year and $1,101 the following year, knowing that he earned more than he reported.

Each count of the indictment is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Shafer will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman in Cincinnati on March 14 for arraignment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Grimes is representing the United States in this case.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the agents of IRS Criminal Investigation in Charleston, W.Va., which is part of the Washington, D.C. Field Office, who conducted the investigation.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Attempts to contact Shafer were unsuccessful.