PARKERSBURG - A Wood County attorney is again under investigation for failing to pay taxes.

Richard A. Hayhurst is accused of failing to pay over $8,000 in taxes during the fourth quarter of 2003, according to a charge of information filed against him Sept.24 in U.S. District Court in Parkersburg. A filing of information means the accused is cooperating with prosecutors, and intends to plead guilty.

Specifically, Hayhurst, 60, a solo practitioner in downtown Parkersburg, is charged with one count of willful failure to collect and pay over taxes. According to the charge, Hayhurst failed to deduct taxes for four of his employees totaling $8,792.53 from October 2003 through January 2004.

Though no additional information is available about the current charge against him, records show Hayhurst had tax troubles over a decade ago for a much more substantial amount.

According to court records, Hayhurst failed to file returns, or pay federal, state and city business and occupation taxes from 1989-1992. Hayhurst's total indebtedness was $197, 314.

The U.S. Attorney's Office on April 11, 1996 charged Hayhurst with a single count of failing to file a tax return in 1991. Two months later, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerry D. Hogg sentenced Hayhurst to four months probation at Bannum Place, a federal halfway house, and one-year supervised release to include four months home confinement.

Records show Hayhurst began serving his sentence on Aug. 18, 1996.

As a result of the information, the state Supreme Court on May 23 ordered the suspension of Hayhurst's license for three months. The suspension began a week later.

In addition to the suspension, the Court ordered that he continue bookkeeping and billing practices recommended by his then-attorney, Craig M. Kay, notify the Office of Disciplinary Counsel every Oct. 20, he's met all federal, state and municipal filing requirements and undergo one year of counseling. In accepting the Court's suspension, Hayhurst stipulated that he cured all state tax arrearages, was current with all 1994 taxes and filed an extension for his 1995 federal and state taxes.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, case numbers 09-cr-217 and 96-cr-56; West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, case number 23412

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