A former school maintenance supervisor in Bayfield is facing multiple charges for allegedly stealing from his employer, filing fraudulent tax returns and making false statements on applications for motor vehicle titles.
Steven Dunn, 52, of Bayfield was charged with two counts of felony theft, four counts of rendering fraudulent income tax returns, misdemeanor theft and three counts of knowingly making false statements in an application for a certificate of title.
According to the criminal complaint, Dunn used the school district’s credit card to make personal purchases, mainly diesel fuel for his personal vehicle and fishing boat, a transfer tank and a winch.
The Bayfield School District superintendent contacted Bayfield Police Department Chief John Fangman in July 2017 to talk about an employee matter, believing Dunn was misappropriating school district funds over several years, according to the criminal complaint. Items purchased included large quantities of diesel fuel, more than the district would require, and parts from an auto parts store, even though the district had no repair shop or certified mechanic, and serviced its vehicles in Ashland.
Dunn resigned his position in August 2017 after being questioned about the suspicious receipts.
A subsequent investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue revealed that from 2014 to 2017, Dunn underreported his taxable income by failing to report all his income from the school and his Lake Superior fishing charter business. Additionally, Dunn inflated expenses from his business to reduce his taxable income. In total, he underreported over $99,000, evading $6,986 in taxes, according to a news release issued by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Dunn also evaded sales tax on the purchase of several vehicles including a $100,000 sport yacht, which he claimed he bought for $10,000. By claiming a purchase price that was $90,000 less than the actual price, Dunn evaded $4,950 in sales tax. Dunn also reported lower purchase prices on two pickup trucks, evading an additional $1,144.
The other tax charges stem from Dunn's fishing charter business. Its website claimed sales tax was included in the price of the charter, but Dunn never remitted the sales tax to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Charges were filed in April 16 by the Bayfield County District Attorney’s Office after an investigation by the Bayfield Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s Office of Criminal Investigation. If convicted of all charges, Dunn could face up to 54 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.