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Ohio Inspector General investigation finds Ohio Department of Taxation Criminal Investigation agents improperly targeted Chillicothe business owner

Ohio Inspector General, Press Release

On Sept. 20, 2023, the Office of the Ohio Inspector General received a referral from the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) alleging Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Tax Agents Matthew Shell and Mandowl Nixon had improperly issued a citation against a business owner in Chillicothe. 

From interviews conducted and records reviewed, Ohio Inspector General investigators found that on Sept. 1, 2023, Shell and Nixon had allegedly collaborated in issuing a citation to the business owner for failure to file a semiannual tax return, even though the taxpayer was not recorded on the ODT delinquency list. The business owner had filed a late return following the agents’ visit and paid a tax liability fine to ODT of approximately $100. 

Investigators also discovered that Shell and Nixon had filed unclassified misdemeanor charges against the business owner with the Chillicothe Clerk of Courts for failing to file and pay the sales tax collected. The charges against the business owner were ultimately dismissed at the request of the Ohio Department of Taxation.

The investigation further determined that Shell and Nixon had allegedly improperly accessed databases containing confidential information and had allegedly violated multiple ODT policies and sections of the Ohio Revised Code. 

On Dec. 15, 2023, Shell and Nixon were removed from their employment with ODT.

The Office of the Ohio Inspector General has referred this report of investigation to the Franklin County Prosecutor, the Ohio Ethics Commission and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for consideration.

Ohio Inspector General Report of Investigation file number 2023-CA00013 is now available at

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