LIMA — Businessman Tim DeHaven said Tuesday he is not guilty of seven felony charges accusing him of not paying state taxes.
“I’m just delinquent on some taxes. I owe a bunch of taxes. We will get them paid,” DeHaven said.
DeHaven is charged with two counts of selling without a license, each a fourth-degree felony; failure to make and file monthly return by vendor, a fourth-degree felony; grand theft, a fourth-degree felony; filing incomplete, false and fraudulent returns, a fifth-degree felony; failing to remit state income taxes withheld from an employee, a fifth-degree felony; and theft, a fifth degree felony.
Each fourth-degree felony carries up to 18 months in prison and a fifth-degree felony carries up to one year in prison.
Prosecutor Juergen Waldick said the charges are for not paying sales and employee withholding taxes, and removing or hiding a sign the Ohio Department of Taxation posted in his business that alerted customers DeHaven’s vendor’s license was suspended. His company is DeHaven Home & Garden Showplace.
DeHaven, 70, has entered a plea of not guilty and has a pretrial hearing scheduled for July 18.
DeHaven said he’s had a rough time in recent years. Besides struggles at his business he nearly lost his life after heart surgery and had amputations. He tried to sue the doctor but a jury returned a verdict in favor of the doctor.
In recent years, his wife, JoAnn has been battling cancer, which he said has been his biggest focus.
“I just have a lot of stuff to worry about,” he said.
DeHaven said he does not dispute owing back taxes and plans to pay everything. He said he is just having financial problems.
“I’ve always intended to pay. I know I owe taxes,” he said. “I’m a man of my word.”
He said he’s been making payments just not as much as the government wants and the penalties for being behind have hit him hard.
“I’ve been battling, battling and battling. I work seven days a week. I work sunup to sundown every day trying to do the right thing trying to pay people I owe money to,” he said.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.