Ohio lobbyist fined for failing to report gifts

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio lobbyist for payday lenders has been fined $2,000 and put on probation for failing to report gifts to lawmakers of Cincinnati Bengals football tickets and upscale dinners.

John Rabenold of Axcess Financial was sentenced Thursday in Columbus after earlier pleading guilty to two counts of filing false legislative activity reports with the legislative inspector general.

Rabenold will spend three years on probation, and the judge said he must cooperate with an investigation that could result in charges against lawmakers for accepting the gifts and failing to report them.

Rabenold — who once ran for the Ohio House as a Republican — was lobbying against legislation that sought to regulate payday lenders, which charge exceedingly high interest rates.

The prosecutor said the sentence was fair.

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