Operator of Centerville anti-aging skincare business convicted of tax fraud

Published: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 @ 8:38 PM

James Wright could spend up to 21 years in prison.

A Germantown businessman who controlled a Centerville anti-aging skincare business is going to prison -- the maximum would be for 21 years -- on tax fraud charges that accused him of diverting tens of thousands of dollars to himself, to pay rent for his mother as well as high school and college tuition for his five children, Justice Department Tax Division officials announced Tuesday. 

The trial was heard in federal court in Dayton. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: House set on fire for money, prosecutor says

James Wright, 62, was convicted on seven counts of filing false corporate, individual and private foundation tax returns. 

According to facts from an April indictment, evidence testimony presented at trial, Wright oversaw the day-to-day operations at the B&P Company Inc., 97 Compark Drive, which manufactured and sold an array of skincare products -- including Frownies, a wrinkle reduction product endorsed by celebrities, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart Goldberg said in a prepared statement. 

Wright's great-grandmother invented Frownies in 1889 and the product has been sold by his family ever since, according to the Justice Department. 

Frownies have existed since 1899. The original product was called Wrinkle Eradicator and is shown on the left. On the right are various other versions of the packaging over the years. (Skip Peterson/Dayton Daily News)(Skip Peterson)

Wright, beginning in the late 1990s, formed a series of entities to divert money from B&P to himself and family members. Instead of receiving a salary from B&P, Wright incorporated a company called The Remnant Inc., to which B&P paid "management fees." 

He caused the preparation of false corporate tax returns for The Remnant on which he deducted personal expenses including rent, utilities and pool and lawn care for his residence. Wright also used funds from The Remnant's bank accounts to pay rent for one of his daughters in New York and California. 

He paid personal expenses directly from B&P's bank accounts as well. He directed B&P employees to use corporate funds to pay rent and utilities at an apartment his mother rented, as well as rent for his daughter in New York. 

In 2004, Wright applied to the IRS for non-profit status for a private foundation called Fore Fathers Foundation. He caused B&P to make donations to the foundation and then used more than $170,000 of the foundation's funds over a seven-year period to pay for high school and college tuition for all five of his children. 

According to trial testimony, these payments constituted acts of self-dealing that Wright was required to disclose on the foundation's tax returns and pay excise taxes on. When Wright filed the foundation's returns for 2003 through 2009, he falsely reported that he had not engaged in acts of self-dealing and failed to pay excise taxes due on the distributions. 

The 2003 package of Frownies(Skip Peterson)

Evidence at trial also established that Wright had a long history of interactions with the IRS. 

+ In 1998, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion for using trusts to conceal income from the IRS. This criminal case arose from an audit of Wright's individual income tax returns. 

+ In 2002, the IRS initiated an audit of The Remnant's income tax returns. 

+ During a 2010 audit of B&P's income tax returns, Wright falsely stated to an IRS revenue agent that he had no prior dealings with the IRS, despite the fact that he had been criminally prosecuted in the 1990s and audited in both the 1990s and early 2000s. 

Wright faces a statutory maximum of three years in prison on each count, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. 

U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice has not set a sentencing date.

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Good Samaritan Hospital closing will stress EMS transport system, Dayton chief says

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 10:41 PM

Dayton Fire Director and Chief Jeffrey L. Payne
Dayton Fire Director and Chief Jeffrey L. Payne

Premier Health's decision to close Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton by the end of the year will stress the city fire department's emergency transport system, but the issue will be regional issue in terms of emergency medical service response and transport, Dayton Fire Chief Jeffrey Payne said.

"It will leave a little bit of a void in coverage for emergency rooms we can transport to," he said of the Dayton Fire Department, but "we should still be able to get patients to the hospital within five minutes or so, for the most part." 

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The closing of Good Samaritan will mean longer transport times, which will stress the Dayton Fire Department's system, the chief said, noting, "this could be problematic, but I think it's something we can handle." 

The protocols -- official procedures or a system of rules under which all hospitals and fire departments operate -- call for taking patients to the closest hospital. 

Payne said, "The most important message we need the public to understand is that regardless of which hospital you go to ... whether it's Miami Valley, Kettering, Grandview, the VA , Wright-Patt, they all operate under the same protocols to make sure you get swift, efficient and effective patient care." 

He warned that the void left by the hospital's closing will be a regional issue, not just a city of Dayton issue, in terms of EMS response and transport because there are a number of fire departments that normally transport to Good Samaritan Hospital. 

Payne stopped his comments there, saying he didn't want to speak for those other fire departments.

Soldier from Clark County is missing from Fort Drum, New York

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 9:27 PM

Spc. Trevor Nichols (Courtesy/Nichols family)
Spc. Trevor Nichols (Courtesy/Nichols family)

Spc. Trevor Nichols, a soldier from Clark County, is missing from Fort Drum, N.Y., and a national organization is asking for the public's help in finding him.

"I see absolutely nothing that says foul play" or suicide, Brenda Paradise, a private investigator who volunteers for Guardian Search and Investigations. 

That organization issued a press release Thursday about Spc. Nichols, 24, of Tremont City, was was last seen Nov. 17, according to Guardian Search and Investigations. 

The watertowndailytimes.com is reporting that the specialist left without his driver’s license, military ID card or his cell phone and has not had any contact with his family since being missing. 

Julie A. Halpin, Fort Drum spokeswoman, told the news organization that Spc. Nichols was a soldier with the 10th Mountain Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team as of November. He was listed as absent without leave on Nov. 15 and his status was updated to deserter on Dec. 18. 

Paradise, in an interview with whio.com tonight, said the specialist was in basic training in 2012, has served a tour in Afghanistan and just returned from a tour in Iraq last May. 

Spc. Nichols is estranged from his wife and they have a son who is just shy of 2 years old, Paradise said. She was living on base with the specialist until recently, Paradise said. 

Paradise said the military was transitioning him farther away from his son, and that may have affected the specialist. 

Spc. Trevor Nichols (Courtesy/Nichols family)

The soldier's mother, Erin Nichols, also has filed a missing person's report through the Clark County Sheriff's Office. 

"I can't even imagine where he would have gone," she said in a phone call Thursday night. 

Mrs. Nichols said her son, the youngest of three boys who grew up in Enon and joined the Army right out of Enon High School, was to report to Fort Riley, Kansas, on Dec. 7. 

She said she also believes that transfer has something to do with her son being missing. 

Mrs. Nichols said she last spoke with him by phone on Nov. 14, the day he was trying to move his estranged wife's belongings to storage. 

If you have information about Spc. Nichols, you are asked to call investigator Paradise at 907-795-5292, referencing case number 17-1689237, the Tremont City, Ohio, police department at 937-969-8281, or 911.

Dayton officer who spoke about police shootings under investigation for OVI

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:31 PM

25-year-old Jermar Rayford was pulled over in Greene County last week.

Dayton Police Officer Jermar Rayford appeared in court this week on an OVI charge stemming from a traffic stop in Greene County just after 2 a.m. on Jan. 12. 

According to documents from Fairborn Municipal Court, Rayford, 25, was driving a black 2017 Dodge bearing Florida license tags when he was stopped by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper on eastbound Col. Glenn Boulevard near Presidential Drive in Beavercreek. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Police searching for suspect in shooting

He was driving 69 mph in a 45-mph zone, according to the court document, and refused a blood alcohol test. 

Rayford was summoned into court on Tuesday morning. 

He is the police officer who performed the Superman in 2015 while dancing to Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) at the Taste of All Things Oregon.

RELATED: Meet Dayton’s whipping, nae-naeing cop

The 2010 Chaminade Julienne graduate became a local celebrity when several people posted videos and photos of his dancing to social media. 

Rayford also gained local attention in July 2016 when he posted a video to social media, offering an emotional plea to the Dayton community focused toward police-community relations.

RELATED: Dayton officer’s plea - ‘I bleed just like you’

At the time, he said he posted the video in reaction to the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both of whom were killed by police. The video surfaced hours before five Dallas police officers were shot and killed.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

Rezabek to seek judgeship, opens up hot race for Ohio House seat and Dan Foley confirms he’s running

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:25 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:39 PM

Rezabek seeks judgeship

UPDATE: Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley has confirmed he will run for the Ohio House 43rd District seat.

State Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton, announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election and will instead run for Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Juvenile division judge.

His decision will likely lead to one of the hottest Statehouse races in the region as the Ohio 43rd is one of the most evenly divided politically in the Dayton area.

Thursday night Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley confirmed that he will run for Rezabek’s seat. Foley, a Democrat, had earlier announced that he would not run for re-election but will serve out his term  on commission through the end of this year.

Democrat Ralph Dean Brill of Brookville, also took out nominating petitions from the Montgomery County Board of Elections but could not be reached for comment.

On Friday Clayton Councilman Kenny Henning will formally announce he is running  in the Republican primary for the seat, and Stephanie Garrett of West Alexandria has also confirmed she is running in that primary.

RELATED: Dan Foley won’t run again for Montgomery County commission

Foley declined to say more about his candidacy but said he will hold a formal announcement news conference soon.

Dan Foley, Montgomery County commissioner, speaks at the Engineers Club in Dayton. FILE(Staff Writer)

‘We made an impact’

Rezabek said he wants to use his experience as a lawyer and a legislator to bring change to the juvenile court.

“We made an impact in the legislature,” he said. “But the real impact is directly on the community and directly with those kids and with those families.”

RELATED: Rezabek bill would give judges more say on trying juveniles as adults

Rezabek, an attorney specializing in juvenile cases, is running for the seat being vacated at the end of the year by Juvenile Judge Nick Kuntz, who cannot run for re-election due to age limitations for judges.

The race for Kuntz’s seat has attracted a lot of attention, with at least five other people taking out nominating petitions.

They include Democrats Julie Bruns of Miamisburg, Greg Scott of Dayton, Steven Wagenfeld of Centerville and Cynthia L. Westwood of Farmersville. Republican C. Ralph Wilcoxson II has also obtained a petition.

Rezabek ran unsuccessfully for the job in 2012. First elected to the Ohio House in 2014, he won a bitter re-election battle in 2016 against David Sparks of Clayton.

RELATED: Race for 43rd House district has turned ugly

Henning said he will make the formal announcement that he is running for the seat at an 11:30 a.m. news conference Friday at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center’s adult center, 6801 Hoke Road, Clayton.

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“I’m 100 percent invested in the community and I want to ensure that our 43rd House district has a strong champion to advocate for the district in Columbus.” said Henning, who is a judicial assistant to Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Erik Blaine.

Kenny Henning, Clayton councilman(Staff Writer)

A Clayton native who has served on the council since 2012, Henning said his campaign will focus on farming and agriculture, the concerns of small business owners and trying to restore Local Government Fund revenue slashed by the legislature. He said he also wants to address the opioid addiction crisis.

Garrett is president of the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau and assistant treasurer of the Ohio Republican Party.

Stephanie Garrett, president of the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is running as a Republican for the Ohio House 43rd District seat.(HANDOUT)

“I wanted to teach my children that they could make a difference. So I got involved in my community and started working with candidates and the Republicans.”

The filing deadline for the May 8 primary is Feb. 7.

Mark Owens, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, said the 43rd House district is about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans and can be won by a Democrat like Foley.

“If he’s willing to get out and roll up his sleeves and work I think he can win it,” Owens said.

The district covers parts of Englewood, Clayton, Trotwood, western Montgomery County and all of Preble County.

RELATED: Ohio could have two redistricting proposals on ballots this year

County commission

Multiple people have pulled petitions to run for Foley’s county commission seat. Democrats include Montgomery County Treasurer Carolyn Rice and Daryl Ward, senior pastor of Omega Baptist Church in Dayton.

RELATED: Candidates seek to replace Foley on Montgomery County commission

Both Rice and Ward have turned in their nominating petitions.

Republicans include former Miami Twp. Trustee Bob Matthews and current Miami Twp. Trustee Doug Barry, both of whom have turned in petitions. Petitions have been obtained but not submitted by Greg Hart and Joshua Smith, both Dayton Republicans.

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