White-Collar Crime

Ex-President of Ohio State Bar Is Cooperating with Feds in Tax Fraud Case

A senior partner of Thompson Hine who formerly served as president of the Ohio State Bar Association is cooperating with federal prosecutors after being charged with tax fraud (PDF).

Leslie W. “Les” Jacobs, 66, acknowledged in an interview that he had made fraudulent tax filings prior to 2008 and called his current situation “a terrible embarrassment and regrettable,” the Plain Dealer reports.

He is accused of filing four tax returns between 2004 and 2007 that fraudulently overstated his business deductions by between $25,000 and $94,000 annually. That allegedly resulted in Jacobs’ underreporting his income, which should have ranged from $633,000 to $780,000, by a total of $250,000, and underpaying his taxes by about $75,000, according to prosecutors.

Newsnet5, a local ABC affiliate, lists the amounts for each year, which are also provided in the charging document.

Jacobs, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is a senior partner in the law firm’s competition, antitrust and white-collar crime practice group. He is a former member of the American Bar Association’s board of governors and its finance committee and is currently a member of the ABA house of delegates.

In a written statement, Thompson Hine said that the tax matter is “related to his personal tax returns. It had nothing to do with his work at the firm. The firm was not involved in giving him advice or in preparing his personal tax returns, and we have no further information or comment.”

The firm did not discuss Jacobs’ status, but his lawyer, Frederick Widen, said Jacobs hopes to remain “in good standing” there.

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