Three men indicted for conspiracy to submit fraudulent tax refund claims for fictitious business entities
Justin Herdman, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland has returned a four-count indictment charging Brandon R. Mace, age 43, of Youngstown, Terris Chanley Baker, age 49, of Canton and Robert J. Rohrbaugh II, age 46, of Youngstown with 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.
According to the indictment, from March 2015 to April 2016, the defendants conspired together to submit fraudulent federal income tax returns in the names of various fictitious entities to the IRS in order to obtain tax refunds for the enrichment of themselves and others. On one occasion, the defendants were successful in obtaining 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.
In order to carry out their conspiracy, the defendants created phony business entities, trusts, Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) and prepared fraudulent income tax return documents, which reported large tax withholdings that never existed.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, each defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan R. Miller.