Legal Ethics

Former state bar president gets two-year suspension for filing false tax returns

The Ohio Supreme Court has imposed a two-year suspension on a former state bar president who pleaded guilty to filing false income tax returns.

Leslie Jacobs was suspended for two years, with credit for the time he was on an interim suspension that began in April 2012, report and the Legal Profession Blog. He was sentenced in January 2012 to a year and a day in prison for filing false tax returns from 2004 to 2007, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported at the time.

He paid the tax shortfall of about $75,000 on the day he was sentenced, according to the state supreme court.

Jacobs was a Harvard law graduate, a former president of the Ohio State Bar Association, and a former member of Thompson Hine in Cleveland.

According to the supreme court opinion, Hines inflated his business expenses on his tax returns. In some instances, he deducted expenses even though he had been reimbursed for the costs by his law firm. He also improperly deducted dues for personal memberships to private clubs, personal meals and entertainment, and the costs of automobiles used for both personal and business reasons.

Jacobs testified he engaged in misconduct because of anger over the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of his mother and the federal government’s false disclosure about the cause of his father’s death in World War II.

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