Jury Convicts Canfield Attorney in $1.3M Fraud Scheme

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A federal jury on Wednesday found Robert J. Rohrbaugh, 49, of Canfield, Ohio, guilty of engaging in a conspiracy to help two men illegally obtain more than $1.3 million from the IRS following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Benita Y. Pearson in Youngstown.

Rohrbaugh was convicted of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, aiding and abetting theft of government property, aiding and abetting false claims against the United States and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Rohrbaugh and co-conspirators Brandon Mace and Terris Chanley Baker were charged under the four-count indictment in July 2020. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Rohrbaugh, a Youngstown-area attorney, assisted Mace and Baker with obtaining a tax refund check for a fictitious business in the amount of $1,352,779.

Court documents state that in early 2015, Mace and Baker obtained a bogus tax refund check for a fictitious business by using fabricated tax forms and listing false taxes and expenditures that showed significant tax overpayments. After obtaining the refund check, Mace and Baker then contacted and worked with Rohrbaugh to deposit the check in accounts owned by the defendants.

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Rohrbaugh assisted Mace and Baker with the scheme even though he was aware that the two had obtained the refund from an illegitimate business based on false tax returns.

According to court documents, after cashing the refund check, Mace and Baker attempted to launder the money by purchasing several high-end luxury vehicles. In addition, evidence showed that Mace and Baker used $150,000 of the refund check to pay Rohrbaugh for his services.

Rohrbaugh is scheduled to be sentenced May 16. Mace pleaded guilty in September 2020 to his role in the scheme, and Baker was convicted by a jury for his role in April 2022.

The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.