Raided Dillsboro Bar's Owner, Associates Were Not Reporting Sales Taxes

TC's Side Street Tavern was the scene of a police search in March 2018.

Google Street View image.

(Dillsboro, Ind.) - When TC’s Side Street Tavern was raided in March, it had locals speculating about what authorities may have found there.

The investigation continued even though the bar’s owner and sole proprietor, Thomas W. Ward, died just days after the search of his business.

Newly filed court documents have enlightened the public on what was going on at the small town watering hole that drew interest from the Dearborn County Special Crimes Uni, Indiana Excise Police, and the Indiana Department of Revenue. Two women are facing charges for allegedly helping a bar owner skirt paying tens of thousands of dollars in sales taxes.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Rita Schnebelt, of Dillsboro, was the bar keeper at TC’s Side Street Tavern for over a decade. Andrea Ward, of Morton, Illinois, was the bar’s bookkeeper.

Detectives had been in the bar and observed the cash register being left open as drinks were sold. They knew that not ringing up sales is a common way for restaurants to avoid paying state and federal taxes.

Inspecting bank records and tax documents, the investigators realized that the income being reported on tax forms filed by Thomas Ward was 25 to 43 percent less than deposits being made into the business’ bank account.

The Indiana Department of Revenue’s analysis of the business’ books determined unreported sales of more than $511,000 between 2013 and 2017. The Wards and Schnebelt schemed to avoid paying nearly $36,000 in state sales taxes on those sales.

Schnebelt and Andrea Ward were charged September 14 with Conspiracy to Commit Corrupt Business Influence (level 5 felony), Conspiracy to Commit Theft (level 6 felony), and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering (level 6 felony).

Ward’s attorney filed September 17 a motion to recall her arrest warrant or set a warrant surrender and bond review. Attorney Jeff Cardella, of Indianapolis, argued that the probable cause affidavit failed to state any actions taken by Ward that would constitute a crime. Any criminal activity that may have occurred happened prior to her becoming involved in the business.

The next day, Dearborn County Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey issued an order denying Ward’s request.

Schnebelt, 75, pleaded not guilty during her initial appearance in court on September 18. She is out of jail after posting a bond of $20,000 surety and $1,000 cash.

TC's Side Street Tavern has been closed since around the time of the March raid.

RELATED STORIES:

TC's Tavern In Dillsboro Searched By Police

More from Local News


Events

  • Hillforest Museum Open for Tours

    Hillforest Victorian House Museum was the home of industrialist and financier Thomas Gaff and his family between 1855 and 1926.

    at Hillforest Museum
  • 4-H for Everyone: Your place to belong!

    Celebrate National 4-H Week by enrolling in 4-H beginning October 1st. Dearborn County 4-H is looking for youth and adults to join our 4-H family. 4-H is a Positive Youth Development program of Purdue Extension serving all youth grades K-12 and you don't need to live on a farm to participate! Youth participate in club activities, special interest or afterschool programming, 4-H camp and more. Families can choose their level of participation. 4-H participation builds leadership and other life skills youth need to be successful. Develops belonging independence, mastery and generosity, is hand on and family friendly! If you have questions about the 4-H program, please contact Liz Beiersdorfer, ebeiers@purdue.edu or call 812-926-1189.

    at
  • The Witches of Breakout

    The Witches National Convention was held in our room last night! We found out that they made plans to turn everyone who isn't a witch into a black cat or a bat. They locked the spell they need in the Breakout EDU box. The Spell was written in magic ink, and if it stays in the box for more than 45 minutes, it will be cast! If we can open the box before the 45 minutes are up, contact with air will break the spell. Work together to unlock the boxes and undo the magic of the Witches of Breakout! Registration required; limited spots available for individuals and groups. Must register: www.lpld.lib.in.us/calendar. 5 p.m. & 7 p.m. (two sessions) Friday, Oct. 22, Lawrenceburg Main Library. 812-537-2775. Tweens and Teens. Free.

    at Lawrenceburg Public Library District

Lawrenceburg Community Schools To Host Veterans Day Parade

The parade will travel through downtown Lawrenceburg and each Lawrenceburg school campus.

Operation Belt Up Activated To Address Declining Seat Belt Use

The Franklin/Ripley County Safety Partnership is working to address the issue with a three-week enforcement campaign.

INDOT To Host Statewide Hiring Event; Aurora Sub-District A Host Site

The hiring event takes place Thursday, October 28.

EC, L'Burg, Batesville Soccer Stars Help Make Up ISCA All-District Teams

Nine players from Eagle Country were recognized this week.

ORVC Medalist Hailey Hines Highlights 2021 ORVC Girls Golf All-Conference Team

Hines carded an 82 at the conference meet in September.

On Air

Your Hometown Radio Station playing
Vince Gill - Pocket Full of Gold

Lee Brice Memory I Don't Mess With 1:47
George Strait All My Ex-s Live In Texas 1:44
John Michael Montgomery Letters From Home 1:39
Dierks Bentley Gone 1:36