CEO of local non-profit charged with tax fraud

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The president and CEO of a local non-profit is being accused of tax fraud and mortgage loan fraud.

Regina Shields, 40, was charged with scheming to file false claims for federal income tax refunds with the IRS, and money laundering in connection with a mortgage fraud.

Shields formed the non-profit organization, Free Truth Enterprises in 2000. Since then, she has served as the President and CEO. Court records show during 2007 to 2010, she allegedly filed federal income tax returns, claiming she was employed by and received significant wages from Free Truth Enterprises, as well as significant withholdings.

As a result, Shields reportedly collected $61,315 in tax refunds during those years. However, investigators say her claims were not consistent with the non-profit's.

In addition, Shields allegedly made a winning bid on a foreclosed home, and wrote a check for $164,000. Prosecutors say the check was returned for insufficient funds, and the bank account had been closed for months.

On Wednesday, Shields appeared in court and was released on bond.

The case remains under investigation by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI.

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