Lobbyist takes plea deal as the focus turns to the legislators
John Rabenold, the registered lobbyist for payday lender Axcess Financial who was charged with two counts of filing a false legislative agent activity and expenditure report, plead guilty to the charges.
The charges stemmed from a 2009 Cincinnati Bengals game and meals at two upscale restaurants where Rabenold entertained legislators and then failed to disclose the activities on his legislative agent activity and expenditure report. No lawmakers reported receiving gifts of tickets or meals from Rabenold in this period.
Rabenold faced up to six months in jail for each count with a maximum sentence of 12 consecutive months. On Thursday, May 1, 2014, Rabenold was fined $2,000 and given up to three years of probation.
According to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, Rabenold has agreed to work with Legislative Inspector General Tony Bledsoe and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to determine which lawmakers failed to disclose gifts from Rabenold.
A May 2, 2014, Columbus Dispatch article states that Rabenold has turned over amended disclosure reports to the Legislative Inspector naming the lawmakers who received gifts.