State Lobbyist Pleads Guilty to Two Counts of Filing False Legislative Reports
|FBI Cincinnati March 19, 2014|
COLUMBUS—John L. Rabenold, 44, of Cincinnati, Ohio, a registered lobbyist in the state of Ohio, pleaded guilty today in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to two counts of filing false legislative activity reports with the Joint Legislative Ethics Commission and the Legislative Inspector General.
Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Office, and Ron O’Brien, Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney, announced the pleas entered today before Franklin County Judge Patrick Sheeran.
According to court documents, this legal action resulted from an investigation by the FBI’s Public Corruption Task Force into payday lending legislative proposals. The investigation previously led to the separate convictions of former state representatives Carlton Weddington and Clayton Luckie. Based upon information learned in those investigations, a number of expenditures made by Mr. Rabenold for members of the General Assembly were not reported on the quarterly forms submitted to the Joint Legislative Ethics Commission by all legislative lobbyists. This failure to report lobbying expenses made to state representatives is in violation of Ohio law.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI Cincinnati Field Office’s Public Corruption Task Force in Columbus. In addition to FBI special agents, the task force includes agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
Sentencing in this case is scheduled for May 1, 2014.
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