Barry Isaacs founded the Cincinnati nonprofit Hope 4 Change when he was 24. Eleven years later he has been sentenced to four years in prison for failing to pay payroll taxes and embezzlement.
Hope 4 Change provides housing and care for adults with developmental disabilities, and at one time had over 180 employees. Between 2013 and 2014 Isaacs failed to pay $360,000 in payroll taxes that he withheld from employees. He wrote checks to himself and family members and spent the money on personal expenses including massages, clothes, cars, rent, air travel and hotels.
Isaacs was ordered to pay the $360,000 to the IRS as well as $216,000 to OTR Capital, LLC. The restitution to OTR Capital is connected to a separate fraud case prosecutors say was instigated by Isaacs’ ex-wife, Teela Gilbert. Isaacs pleaded guilty in that case to wire fraud and identity theft.
Isaacs was indicted in 2019 but fled the state. The US Marshalls fugitive task force found him living in a hotel in Houston under a false name.