CLEVELAND -- An East Cleveland police detective has been indicted on tax charges arising from the private security business he operated, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced Wednesday.
Scott Gardner, 39, of Ravenna, was charged by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury with three felonies: one count of Tampering with Records and two counts of Fraudulent Actions Concerning a Tax Return.
Gardner was also charged with three misdemeanors: Selling Retail without a License, Vendor Failed to Collect Taxes and Failure to File a Tax Return.
The State of Ohio charges that the defendant operated a company called CPACS that provided security to businesses by using off-duty police officers.
The State alleges that Gardner filed a fraudulent tax return in 2012 that failed to report $22,563 in income, and that he also failed to collect sales tax and failed to file sales tax returns in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The Ohio Department of Taxation's Criminal Investigations Division began investigating Gardner's business after an unsuccessful raid in May 2013 at an East Cleveland Internet gambling casino that had hired CPACS to provide security.
"Police officers have to follow the same rules that apply to everyone else,'' said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Meyer, who supervises the Public Corruption Unit in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office. "If they break the law, they should expect to be prosecuted."
In addition to Wednesday's indictment, Gardner faces felony charges in Medina County stemming from his operation of another business there. Those charges include trafficking in tobacco products with intent to avoid taxation, tampering with records and forgery.
Gardener was indicted in Medina County on November 21, 2013. He entered a plea of not guilty, was released on bond and has a March 3 trial date.