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Woman indicted on receiving stolen tax refunds, facilitating scams

• Updated Oct 21, 2016 at 2:44 PM

BRYAN — A Williams County woman accused of facilitating scams by receiving stolen tax refunds, forging checks, and laundering money has been indicted by a grand jury.

Tammi S. Buchs, 40, of Bryan, was indicted by a Williams County grand jury on 25 counts, including money laundering, receiving stolen property, identity fraud, telecommunications fraud, possessing criminal tools, forgery, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and conspiracy to commit engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Buchs is accused of participating in three general scams. In the first, Buchs allegedly received thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen tax refunds, the result of fraudulent tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service. In the second, Buchs is accused of creating and printing fraudulent checks designed to look like payroll checks from businesses. (Phony checks often are used in job scams and other ploys.) Finally, Buchs is accused of laundering money by receiving deposits in bank accounts, then transferring money overseas. According to the indictment, the alleged activities occurred in 2015.

“Scams often involve a network of people receiving and sending money,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “That’s one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to recover money that’s been sent in a scam. We are committed to protecting consumers and to collaborating with prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies to hold violators accountable.”

The case is being prosecuted jointly by the Williams County Prosecutor Katherine J. Zartman’s Office and an attorney from the Ohio Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Unit. The case was investigated byDeWine’s Economic Crimes Unit and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation along with the Bryan Police Department.

Buchs was prosecuted for similar behavior in Defiance County in 2013. She currently is incarcerated for violating the terms of her community control.

DeWine encourages consumers to beware of scams. Signs of a potential scam include:

• Requests for payment using money transfers, prepaid cards, or gift cards.

• Work-from-home opportunities that involve sending and receiving payments.

• Checks that are written for more than the anticipated amount, along with instructions to “return” the extra amount using a money-transfer service.

Consumers who want to learn more about scams or report a potential scam should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.

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