On Friday, September 3, 2021, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) General Assignment Unit, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigations, and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) executed a search warrant on Flagler Tax Service of Bunnell, located at 608 E Moody Boulevard. Detectives seized multiple computers, files, and other evidence potentially linked to numerous incidents of a massive organized scheme to defraud clients.

The investigation into the business began on August 25, 2021, when numerous individuals contacted FCSO to report that they had been defrauded by Robert “Bob” Newsholme (DOB: 8/16/1955) of Flagler Tax Service.

The allegations against Newsholme currently include Grand Theft, Organized Scheme to Defraud, and

Embezzlement. He has a criminal history dating back to the late 1970s in New York for Grand Larceny, Petit Larceny, Issuing Bad Checks with Knowledge, Forgery, and Scheme to Defraud, with the most recent charge for Defraud in 2004. He is not a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) as most of his clients believed he was and the current cases being investigated by the FCSO total $189,871 of missing funds.

“At this time, we have no indication that any other Flagler Tax Service employees took part in or had knowledge of any illegal activity,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Thousands of documents and forensic material are being analyzed as the investigation continues. It’s unfortunate that someone who was trusted in the community would take advantage of so many people that trusted him. Our investigators will not rest until the victims are identified and the suspect is held accountable for his actions.”

FCSO is asking the community – any person or business whose taxes have been prepared by Flagler Tax Service and has received a notice from the IRS of late filings – or anyone who believes they may be a victim to please contact the FCSO to make a formal report at 386-313-4911.

There are currently 12 active cases being investigated for fraud against Newsholme that FCSO is investigating. If you feel you may be a victim, please contact the FCSO by calling 386-313-4911 to file a report. Upon filing a report with FCSO, victims need to contact the IRS with their case number at 800829-1040 (Individuals) or 800-829-4933 (Businesses). We also urge residents who may not be known victims of fraud but may have had their tax information seized during the investigation of Flagler Tax Services to contact the IRS.

Newsholme shot himself in the stomach on August 24, 2021, which may have been a possible attempted suicide and was investigated by the FCSO.

Date: September 7, 2021

Prepared by: Melissa Morreale

Phone and Email:  386-529-4086; mmorreale@flaglersheriff.com  Release #: 2021-194