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Tax Fraud Convict Gets Probation

WHEELING — Jolynn Gilchrist, who was indicted in a tax fraud scheme that originally included suspended Ohio County magistrate Harry Radcliffe, will spend the next two years on probation and have to make restitution of more than $2,000 after being sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Gilchrist, 49 of Wheeling pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return last June. U.S. District Judge John Bailey sentenced Gilchrist to two years probation, with the drug testing portion of her probation suspended due to a low risk, as well as $2,028 to be paid back to the IRS in $100 monthly increments.

Bailey said that due to her financial situation, Gilchrist would not be required to pay interest on the restitution nor a special court fee of $25.

Bailey said that he would impose the sentence “taking into consideration a lack of prior criminal record, the fact that this charge is a misdemeanor, the amount of money is so low, and the cooperation of the defendant, as well as the public scrutiny she has faced.”

Gilchrist briefly gave a statement, apologizing to the court and to her family for the stress she has put them through.

“I will spend the rest of my days on earth trying to make this right,” she said. “I accept the responsibility of my actions and hope they may someday be forgiven.”

Radcliffe pleaded guilty to a Klein tax conspiracy in April. His attorney, Dave Jividen, said the plea stemmed from a failure to report parts of Radcliffe’s income on his tax return. Jividen gave the example of such income being as a result of doing chores for neighbors, such as mowing lawns.

In exchange for the guilty plea, the nine-count indictment against Radcliffe — which included charges of wire fraud, filing false income tax returns and bribery — was dismissed. Had he been convicted of the charges in the nine-count indictment, Radcliffe would have faced upwards of 80 years in prison and more than $2.5 million in fines. Instead, Jividen said Radcliffe likely will owe only thousands of dollars.

A sentencing date for Radcliffe has not yet been set.

One of the others involved in the case, William Seelbach, 68, pleaded guilty last June, and has not yet had a sentencing date set. Seelbach was Gilchrist’s boss at A Bail Bonding by ABC and admitted to impeding the IRS in its collection of taxes, and failing to file a federal income tax return for 2012 to report $144,030 in income to the IRS.

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