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Chillicothe – Ohio Tax Agents Fired for Opening Investigation on Business Owner Having Affair with Officer Wife


In a recent development, the Office of the Ohio Inspector General received a referral from the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) on September 20, 2023, alleging misconduct by Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Tax Agents Matthew Shell and Mandowl Nixon. The referral raised concerns about the improper issuance of a citation against a business owner in Chillicothe, Ohio, reportedly stemming from personal connections rather than legitimate tax concerns.

According to the referral, a friend of Agent Shell, who served as a police officer outside of ODT, informed Shell about an alleged affair between his friend’s wife and the Chillicothe business owner. Subsequently, on September 1, 2023, Shell and Nixon collaborated in issuing a citation to the business owner for failure to file a semiannual tax return, despite the taxpayer not being recorded on the ODT delinquency list.

Upon investigation, it was revealed that the business owner had, in fact, filed a late return and paid a tax liability fine of approximately $100 to ODT following the agents’ visit. Furthermore, Shell and Nixon filed unclassified misdemeanor charges against the business owner with the Chillicothe Clerk of Courts, alleging failure to file and pay sales tax collected. However, these charges were later dismissed at the request of the Ohio Department of Taxation.

The inquiry also uncovered that Shell and Nixon had improperly accessed databases containing confidential information and violated multiple ODT policies and sections of the Ohio Revised Code. Consequently, on December 15, 2023, both agents were terminated from their employment with ODT.

Following the investigation, the Office of the Ohio Inspector General has referred this report to the Franklin County Prosecutor, the Ohio Ethics Commission, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for further consideration and potential action.

This incident underscores the importance of upholding ethical standards and maintaining the integrity of public service, particularly in agencies tasked with tax enforcement and regulation.