NELSONVILLE – Charges against Richard Wilson, 51, of Stewart, husband of Nelsonville’s former deputy auditor, Stephanie Wilson, were dropped Monday in Athens County Common Pleas Court.
Stephanie Wilson was sentenced in April to nearly five years in prison for stealing from the city of Nelsonville and ordered to pay back more than $200,000 in restitution. Additional charges against Wilson that include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and theft in office are still pending.
The prosecution alleges that, in addition to the funds already admittedly stolen by Stephanie Wilson, at least another $45,000 in fraudulent tax returns were also taken.
Richard Wilson was accused of signing fraudulent tax returns for his business, Wilson Construction, and charged with aggravated theft and theft in office.
“Upon further investigation, the State now asserts that while money was defrauded from the city of Nelsonville and deposited in Wilson Construction, it was done without the knowledge of Richard Wilson,” Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said.
The investigation revealed that Stephanie Wilson was involved in the financial operations of Wilson Construction and allegedly deposited the stolen funds from the city without her husband’s knowledge. Blackburn pointed out that this behavior is consistent with facts from her previous conviction in that she used her son’s bank accounts to steal money from the city without his knowledge.
“It’s disappointing that it appears again that Mrs. Wilson has used a family member to commit a theft and subjected him to liability,” Blackburn said.
“The State of Ohio and this Office pursues justice on behalf of the people. At the time of Mr. Wilson’s indictment, the evidence showed mutual involvement. As we continued to pursue the truth, the evidence cleared Mr. Wilson of involvement in this matter and therefore the State of Ohio moved to dismiss the case with prejudice,” he said.
As reported by the Athens Messenger, Stephanie Wilson previously had pled guilty to charges of tampering with records, a fourth-degree felony; forgery, a fourth-degree felony; telecommunications fraud, a third-degree felony; and theft in office, a third-degree felony. The counts were related to funds Wilson stole from the City of Nelsonville while she served as deputy auditor.
After that plea and prior to Monday’s sentencing, Wilson was indicted on additional charges from that activity, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony, and theft in office, a third-degree felony. She pleaded not guilty and was placed under a $2.5 million bond. That case is still pending.
Stephanie Wilson is currently serving her sentence of four years and 11 months in prison. A pretrial hearing on her additional charges is scheduled for May 26.