Bookmark this page on your mobile

QR Code image

What is this?

Daily Court Reporter - News Ohio businessman sentenced for tax fraud

 

Ohio businessman sentenced for tax fraud

John Anderson Rankin, 55, of Circleville, Ohio, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 60 months in prison for tax crimes that included a total tax loss of approximately $8.1 million. Rankin was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7.1 million.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office announced the sentence handed down today by Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.

Rankin was convicted of 17 tax-related charges following a two-week trial in September 2017.

A federal grand jury indicted Rankin in July 2015 with seven counts of failing to account for and pay over employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), six counts of willfully filing false federal individual income tax returns with the IRS, three counts of willfully filing false federal corporate income tax returns with the IRS and one count of obstructing and impeding the due administration of the IRS.

According to court documents and testimony, Rankin operated a number of Circleville-based businesses, including Connectivity Systems, Inc., a mainframe software company that provides internet protocol development and servicing. Rankin Enterprises, LLC was a shell corporation that included the Circleville Movie House, Screening Room, J.R. Hooks Café and Tootles Pumpkin Inn. Rankin also owned the Tuscan Table, an Italian restaurant in downtown Circleville.

Between June 2008 and April 2011 Rankin, conducting business as Rankin Enterprises and Tuscan Table, failed to account for and pay over to the IRS all federal income and FICA taxes.

Rankin also filed false Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns with the IRS for the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 income tax years. He claimed a corrected adjusted gross income amount of a negative $1.7 million, when in actuality his corrected adjusted gross income was more than $8.9 million.

In 2010, Rankin filed a false individual income tax return that reported an adjusted gross income of nearly $27,000, when his actual gross income was nearly $1.6 million.

In addition, Rankin filed false U.S. Corporation Income Tax Returns with the IRS for Connectivity Systems Incorporated for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 income tax years. These false forms claimed a fraudulent accelerated Research & Development Credit in the amount of $1.7 million against the corporate taxes due and owing of Connectivity Systems Incorporated.

Lastly, between January 2005 and July 2015 Rankin made false and misleading statements to agents of the IRS and concealed information from agents of the IRS.

“Rankin effectively robbed both the United States and his employees, and not only did he perpetrate this decade-long tax-fraud scheme, but he also introduced fake records at trial,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “The jury rightfully convicted him for his illegal conduct, and his sentence today reflects his continued disregard for the law.”

“The sentencing of Rankin is an important victory for America's taxpayers who play by the rules and have no tolerance for those who make up their own rules. This investigation serves to remind us that there is no such thing as free money and there are no awards or incentives for creativity when it comes to crime,” said Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by IRS-Criminal Investigation, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel A. Brown and Noah R. Litton, who represented the United States in this case.

About the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio

Our mission is to protect and serve the citizens of the Southern District of Ohio through the ethical, vigorous and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, and in so doing to defend the national security, improve the safety and quality of life in our communities, protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States, maintain a courteous and professional working environment, and, with skill and integrity, seek to do justice in every matter

We are the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, one of 94 United States Attorney’s Offices in the country. We are a part of the Department of Justice. Our District is comprised of 48 counties in the southern half of the state.

We represent the interests of the United States, both criminal and civil, in federal court. It is our responsibility to enforce federal criminal laws. We work to prevent terrorism and promote the nation’s security. We are committed to preventing crime, enforcing federal laws, and representing the rights and interests of the American people. We strive to ensure the fair and efficient administration of justice for all Americans.

We prosecute those individuals and organizations that violate federal criminal statutes. We work with a multitude of federal, state, and local agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Park Service, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, The Ohio Highway Patrol, and multitude of local law enforcement agencies. We prosecute a wide-variety of offenses including domestic and foreign terrorism; child pornography and exploitation; civil rights violations; bank robbery and other violent crimes; firearms offenses; drug trafficking; health care fraud; immigration violations; public corruption; tax evasion; mail, bank and wire fraud; environmental offenses; and identity theft.

We also represent the United States in civil litigation, affirmative and defensive. As such, we sue individuals or entities who have violated federal civil laws. We also defend the interests of the United States when it, or one of its departments, agencies, or employees is sued, and we defend federal programs and agency actions.

We collect monies owed to the United States from forfeiture, restitution, and fines imposed as a part of the judgment in federal cases. We also pursue collection of civil debts owed to the United States, including student, small business, housing, and farm loans. Finally, we represent the interests of federal agencies in bankruptcy court.

Our district covers the bottom half of the state of Ohio.

Our district contains three staffed offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. The Columbus office is the headquarters of our District and is the largest, followed by Cincinnati then Dayton.

Date Published: April 23, 2018

 

The United States Attorneys Office Southern District of Ohio

 

Three men plead guilty to concealing sending money to Anwar Al-Awlaki

Three men pleaded guilty to their roles in concealing the provision of thousands of dollars to Anwar Al-Awlaki in an effort to support violent jihad against U.S. military personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.

Problem gambling: Know when to stop before you start

(BPT) The bright lights. The energy and laughter that fills the room. Casinos are fun and exciting to the vast majority of people but for some, they can be problematic.

Another substitute bill for affirmative self-defense proposal is proposed

A House committee recently adopted another substitute bill that further tinkers with legislation originally devised to codify an affirmative claim of self defense for Ohioans.

Some small steps can lead to businesses being more green

More companies are becoming more sustainable and eco-friendly each year.

Owner of payroll company indicted for stealing $914,000 from clients

A Putnam County woman was indicted on seven counts of bank fraud after she stole more than $900,000 from her clients, said U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony.

Four people indicted for preparing hundreds of false tax returns

Four people from Ohio were named in a 31-count indictment for their roles in a conspiracy in which they filed more than 800 tax returns annually between 2012 and 2015 resulting in approximately $15 million in refunds being issued, a portion of which neither they nor their clients were entitled.

Let the power of compound interest help your 529 plan take off

If you’ve been to the movies, or watched a multitude of TV series recently, you’ve seen many, many superhero stories. These champions always stretch themselves to overcome obstacles and to come to others’ aid. There’s a superhero in the financial world as well, a college savings superhero – compound interest. Its super powers can really make your Ohio 529 college savings plan soar!

Assistance available to promote fruits, vegetables, flowers and nut crops in Ohio

State agriculture officials are looking forward to a new crop of specialty crop grant proposals in the coming weeks.

Bill designed to boost telemedicine in Ohio

Committee members in the Ohio House of Representatives took up a bill recently that would raise the profile of telemedicine services with regard to health benefit plans of Ohioans.

Naloxone rebate extended, more than $730,000 saved

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced recently that a rebate agreement that has saved Ohio agencies more than $730,000 on the cost of naloxone has been extended for another year.

Statewide dispute over traffic cameras continues at Supreme Court of Ohio

The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 24th, heard four oral arguments, including a dispute between the state and the city of Toledo over traffic cameras.

Report: Ohio in top 10 for business growth

Ohio's year-over-year growth and new companies starting among 18 major industries last year placed it among the top 10 states for business creation.

Akron man and Barberton woman charged for defrauding insurance company

Two people were charged in federal court with mail fraud for defrauding an insurance company.

Ohio EPA updates findings on sources of nutrients impacting Ohio waters

As required by state legislation signed in 2015 (House Bill 64), Ohio EPA has completed its second statewide study identifying sources and estimating the annual amount of phosphorus and other nutrients flowing from the state’s watersheds into Lake Erie and the Ohio River. The study covers the Maumee, Portage, Sandusky, Vermilion, Cuyahoga, Great Miami, Scioto and Muskingum watersheds, and includes some direct tributaries to Lake Erie, which collectively represent surface water quality from 66 percent of the entire state.

Proposal would allow bystanders to sue police if an officer damages their smartphone

A Senate committee recently heard testimony of a Columbus lawmaker who wants to bolster protection of citizens’ free-speech rights as they pertain to recording the actions of law enforcement officers while on the job.

Tax breaks proposed for pro bono work

A bill proposing tax breaks for attorneys for pro bono legal services has gained little traction since its introduction in the Ohio House of Representatives nearly a year ago.

Attorney General DeWine announces applications now accepted for Teen Ambassador Board

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine recently announced that his office is now accepting applications for its Teen Ambassador Board.

New Albany man started making 3-D printed prosthetics in high school

Aaron Westbrook has gotten better tying his shoes with a single hand.

Housing authorities develop and operate low-income housing in Ohio

April 2018 was the 50th anniversary of National Fair Housing Month which celebrates the passage of the Fair Housing Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The federal law was groundbreaking legislation and, half a decade later, public housing programs still work to eliminate discrimination and create equal opportunity in every community.

Dayton area tax preparer pleads guilty to filing false income tax returns with the IRS

David D. Hill, 34, of Dayton, Ohio, pleaded guilty to two counts of filing a false income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).