The man who founded a southwest Ohio non-profit that helped addicts, the disabled, and mentally ill has been charged with tax fraud after feds say he used thousands of dollars meant to pay the payroll taxes of his employees and spent it on clothes, massages, beauty supplies, travel, and vehicles.
Hope 4 Change, a Cincinnati-based agency that helped take care of people with addiction issues, mental health problems, and developmental disabilities had around 180 employees. Founder Barry Rene Issacs is accused of spending payroll tax money on luxury items for him and his family.
Hope 4 Change withheld FICA taxes from employees but never passed them on to the IRS. He’s also accused of applying for a credit card and loan using someone else’s Social Security number.
He’s charged with five counts of failing to pay his taxes, obstructing justice, and identity theft. He tried to escape, but the U.S. Marshals Service caught up with him in Texas and brought him back to Ohio to be arraigned in federal court on February 10.
He’s not the only one in trouble. Hope 4 Change’s vice president, Teela Gilbert is charged with obstructing justice.
United States Attorney Ebunoluwa A. Taiwo is representing the United States in this case.