Former Auroran indicted, accused of tax evasion in church theft

| April 14, 2010

A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against a former Aurora resident who is accused of taking about $336,000 from Blessed Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Cleveland.

Stanley S. Chapman, now of Spring, Texas, is charged with four counts of income tax evasion and 12 counts of employment tax offenses relating to the alleged incident, which authorities said occurred between 2003 and 2006.

The indictment was announced April 8 by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach.

No contact information for defendant or his attorney was available from court or IRS sources.

The indictment alleges that when Chapman was treasurer and payroll bookkeeper for the church he prepared checks payable to Key Bank that led church officials to believe he was making deposits of federal employment tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service.

Although he paid some of the money to the IRS in 2003 and 2004, authorities say he took most of the funds.

The indictment charges Chapman with failing to account for and pay to the IRS a total of $81,900 of withheld FICA and income taxes owed by the church.

It alleges Chapman tried to evade personal income taxes by filing false returns on which he failed to report a large portion of funds he took from the church, including the checks to Key Bank and others.

Authorities say for 2003 he filed a joint return with his wife and for 2004 to 2006 he filed returns in his own name, using a "head of household" filing status.

In total, the indictment alleges Chapman failed to report taxable income of about $283,136 and income taxes of about $51,301 for the four years.

The government's case is being prosecuted by Assisted U.S. Attorney John M. Siegel, following an investigation by the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division in Cleveland.

"We all know that tax day is not fun, but the vast majority of citizens who report properly and pay their fair share need to know that we will aggressively prosecute those who shirk or flaunt their obligations," Dettelbach said.

"Our effort extends broadly to prosecute all who seek to evade taxes, whether businessmen, tax professionals or wage earners."

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Category: Church Security

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