Two businessmen appeared in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday to face criminal allegations that they each, in separate cases, failed to remit sales tax to the state.
Tom Cousino, 64, of Perrysburg Township pleaded not guilty to one count each of grand theft and failure to remit Ohio sales taxes withheld, both fourth-degree felonies. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The state Department of Taxation charged that the "grand total of liability due to the state of Ohio" equaled $80,915.91. The figure does not include penalties and interest.
Mr. Cousino, whose family has maintained restaurants in East Toledo since 1946, was released on his own recognizance.
Also appearing before Judge Frederick McDonald was Donald Stump, an owner of Lifestyles for Ladies Only health clubs.
Mr. Stump, 57, of Temperance pleaded not guilty to one count each of aggravated theft and failure to remit sales tax for allegedly not paying $628,701.01 in sales tax for his businesses. If convicted, he faces up to 9 1/2 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
According to the indictment, Mr. Stump failed to remit sales tax between June, 2005, and December, 2009. Department of Taxation records indicate that the charges relate to his health-club businesses at 4920 Monroe St. and 2584 Parkway Place.
Because Mr. Stump is alleged to have withheld more than $500,000, he faces a second-degree felony.
He was handcuffed by deputies and taken to the Lucas County jail, where he was fingerprinted and photographed before being released on his own recognizance.
Judge McDonald set a June 29 trial date in each case.
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