3 Indicted for Fraudulent Business Tax Refund Claims
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland has returned a four-count indictment charging three businessmen with filing fraudulent federal income tax returns in the names of fictitious businesses in order to obtain tax refunds.
On one occasion, said Justin Herdman, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, the defendants obtained a refund check for a fictitious business in the amount of $1,352,779. After obtaining the refund, the defendants then attempted to launder the money by purchasing high-end and luxury vehicles, he said.
Indicted by the grand jury are: Brandon R. Mace, age 43, of Youngstown, Terris Chanley Baker, age 49, of Canton and Robert J. Rohrbaugh II, age 47. They are charged with conspiracy against the United States, aiding and abetting theft of government property, aiding and abetting false claims against the U.S. and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the indictment, from March 2015 to April 2016, the defendants created phony business entities, trusts, Employer Identification Numbers and prepared fraudulent income tax return documents, which reported large tax withholdings that never existed.
The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan R. Miller.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.