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Owsley County Clerk Sentenced for Abuse of Public Trust, Tax Evasion

Thursday, 07 11, 2013

Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659 (office)

Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the sentencing of Owsley County Clerk Sid Gabbard on charges of abuse of public trust and tax evasion. Gabbard received five years in prison for abuse of public trust and three years for making false tax returns, and/or failure to pay tax, for a total sentence of eight years. The sentence was probated following Gabbard's payment of $61,118 in restitution, and repayment of back taxes.

The charges against Gabbard are the result of an investigation by General Conway's Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Department of Revenue's Division of Special Investigations. The Attorney General's Office launched its investigation of Gabbard in January of 2013 based on a 2010 audit report from the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts. Prosecution of this case was handled by the Office of Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland.

"Sid Gabbard betrayed the citizens of Owsley County, who elected him to serve with honesty and integrity," General Conway said. "I applaud my investigators and the Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for bringing this case to a successful close, and for ensuring the recovery of restitution and back taxes."

The Attorney General's investigation revealed that Gabbard withheld state income tax from employees' checks, but instead of sending the money to the state he used it as his own.

The tax evasion charges were brought forth by the Department of Revenue's Division of Special Investigations, which identifies and investigates state tax crimes and prepares cases for prosecution. Using information sources ranging from anonymous tips to collaboration with law enforcement agencies the division investigates cases including income tax evasion, fraudulent tax refunds and theft of sales, use and withholding taxes.

For more information about the Department of Revenue's special investigations and how to report tax fraud, go to http://revenue.ky.gov/inv/ .