A grand jury convened on Thursday, October 20 and returned a 25 count indictment against Tammi S. Buchs, 40, of Bryan. The indictment, which includes a total of seven counts of money laundering, third degree felonies; six counts of receiving stolen property, fourth degree felonies; one third degree felony identity fraud count, one fourth degree felony identity fraud count; two fifth degree felony identity fraud counts; one count of telecommunications fraud, a third degree felony; one count of possessing criminal tools, a fifth degree felony; four counts of forgery, fifth degree felonies; one first degree felony count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; and once second degree felony count of conspiracy to commit engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity are related to a series of scams it is alleged that Buchs orchestrated.
According to a joint press release issued by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Williams County Prosecutor Katherine Zartman, “Buchs is accused of participating in three general scams. In the first, Buchs allegedly received thousands of dollars worth of stolen tax refunds, the result of fraudulent tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service. In the second, Buchs is accused of creating and printing fraudulent checks designed to look like payroll checks from businesses. (Phony checks often are used in job scams and other ploys.) Finally, Buchs is accused of laundering money by receiving deposits in bank accounts, then transferring money overseas. According to the indictment, the alleged activities occurred in 2015”.
A warrant was issued for Buchs arrest upon the indictment.
Buchs had been previously convicted of one fifth degree felony count of theft in Defiance County in 2013. She served eleven months incarceration for that conviction.
The investigation leading to the indictment was headed by the Bryan Police Department, who was assisted by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Williams County Prosecutor Katherine Zartman will lead the prosecution on the charges, with technical assistance from an attorney assigned from the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Unit. DeWine also noted in the press release that the Attorney General’s is “committed to protecting consumers and to collaborating with prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies to hold violators accountable”.
DeWine also encourages consumers to beware of scams. Signs of potential scams listed by DeWine include requests for payment using money transfers, prepaid cards, or gift cards; work-from-home opportunities that involve sending and receiving payments; and checks that are written for more than the anticipated amount, along with instructions to return the extra amount using a money-transfer service.
Also indicted in Williams County last week were Austin W. McCoy of Bryan and Angel L. Resler of Montpelier. McCoy was indicted on two counts of theft, each fifth degree felonies. Resler was indicted for aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth degree felony.
Chelsie Firestone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org