Former Ohio lobbyist guilty of filing false expenditure statements

On March 19, 2014, former lobbyist John Rabenold plead guilty to filing two false lobbying reports in regard to his failing to disclose, in part, expenditures he made relating to a December 6, 2009, event at a Cincinnati Bengals game.

All those who lobby in Ohio must report their lobbying activity and expenditures to the Office of the Legislative Inspector General.  In 2013 alone, $600,000.00 in expenditures were timely reported by the lobbying community.

As part of the reporting process, the OLIG reviews lobbying reports and notifies filers if there is reason to believe a report is not accurate; it has long worked with the lobbying profession to address inadvertent omissions and oversights.

On March 22, 2010, the OLIG sent a formal inquiry to Mr. Rabenold regarding the December 6, 2009, event—which did not appear on his final 2009 activity and expenditure report.  Mr. Rabenold denied, on multiple occasions, any reportable expenditures having been made.

The OLIG shared this information with law enforcement and was asked to take no further action pending an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  In the course of investigations into State Representatives Carlton Weddington and Clayton Luckie the FBI confirmed Mr. Rabenold made expenditures he did not disclose.  Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O’Brien, who successfully prosecuted Weddington and Luckie, thereafter pursued two counts of filing a false lobbying report against Mr. Rabenold.

The Bill of Information for Case No. 14CR 03 1429 may be read here.