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Former Ohio tax official pleads guilty after state withheld $30M in business-tax refunds

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former top official at the Ohio Department of Taxation has pleaded guilty to a dereliction of duty charge in a case involving more than $30 million in business tax refunds wrongly withheld from companies that had properly requested the money.

Rick Anthony served as Ohio's deputy tax commissioner. Inspector General Randall Meyer said Thursday that Anthony entered the plea this week in Franklin County Municipal Court.

An investigation that Meyer's office released in November found Anthony was aware of the problem with the refunds. Investigators found he marked numerous tax refunds that had been requested and approved as "pending," causing them never to be physically paid.

The case prompted a new state law requiring that taxpayers be notified of overpayments and granted either refunds or credit toward future taxes.

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