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Authorities drop charges against ex-Nelsonville official’s husband

ATHENS, Ohio — Charges have been dropped against the husband of a former Nelsonville deputy auditor.

Richard Wilson, 51, of Stewart, had been charged with aggravated theft and theft in office and was accused of signing fraudulent tax returns for his business, Wilson Construction.

His wife, Stephanie Wilson, was sentenced in April to nearly five years in prison for stealing from the City of Nelsonville and ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution.

“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 in a news release Monday.

The charge against Richard Wilson was related to additional pending counts against Stephanie Wilson, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and theft in office. The prosecution alleges that, in addition to the funds already admittedly stolen, at least another $45,000 in fraudulent tax returns were also taken.

Blackburn pointed out that in her previous conviction Stephanie Wilson used another family member’s bank accounts to steal money from the city without their 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. “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.”

A pretrial hearing on the additional charges against Stephanie Wilson is scheduled for May 26.

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