IRS, FBI Raid Warren Fab Plant in Hubbard
HUBBARD, Ohio — Agents from the IRS and FBI are conducting a raid of Warren Fabricating and Machining at 7845 Chestnut Ridge Road.
A representative from the Cleveland field office of the FBI confirmed Wednesday morning that agents from both entities were on site, although no additional details are available. All information is currently under court seal, although the representative did confirm that the IRS is the lead investigative agency.
“Warren Fabricating has done nothing inappropriate,” the company’s attorney, Ian Friedman, said in a statement issued to the press Wednesday. “We are cooperating with all investigating authorities. We don’t know yet the details of any allegations of wrongdoing, and we don’t know the source of those allegations.”
Earlier Wednesday morning, plant employees were sent home for the day while office workers were kept inside.
Authorities arrived at the plant around 7:30 a.m., said Craig Casserly, spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service who was at the site Wednesday morning.
“They’ll be back open for business when we’re done. It depends on how long we are here today,” he said. No one is under arrest, he confirmed, and noted that Hubbard police were on hand this morning to assist the FBI and IRS.
Casserly could not comment on any other details related to the investigation.
Friedeman said that the company would be back in business by Thursday morning and its 160 employees will be at work in the plant.
The raid comes three months after Warren Fab’s former chief financial officer, Paul Theisler, was sentenced to two years in prison for stealing from the company and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution. Theisler was accused of embezzling nearly $2 million during his time with the company. He had worked there 38 years when the theft was discovered.
Warren Fab specializes in the fabrication, machining and assembly of large steel weldments. Industries it serves include power generation, oil and gas, mining, steel and large press manufacturers.
The company also operates a plant at 3240 Mahoning Ave. in Warren. There were no federal agents at that office this morning, Casserly said.
Warren Fabricating was founded by John C. Rebhan in 1967. When he died in 2008, ownership passed to his son and daughter, Eric Rebhan and Regina Mitchell.
Mitchell, vice chair of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, has since left the company. She is currently the president and co-owner of Recovery Solutions LLC.
“We look forward to this investigation bringing out the truth,” Friedman said, “because we know the truth is that Warren Fabricating has held itself to the highest business standards and ethics. That’s how the company established its excellent reputation over the last 50 years, and it’s how Warren Fabricating will continue doing business for years to come.”
Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.