Robert Rome was Convicted of $4.3 Million Fraud and is now a Chicago Accountant

By Guest

Someone sent me snippets of press releases talking about Financial Immersion Consultants and its owner, Robert Rome.

The PRs seemed normal at first.

However, I soon recognized a pattern.

Robert had recently acquired several websites of his own name, which made me suspect that his PR campaign wasn’t a normal one.

Turns out, it was part of a reputation laundering campaign to hide his 5-year sentence for defrauding his past clients.

What was the case about? Where is he now? Find out in this post:

Who is Robert Rome of Chicago?

Robert Rome is a Tax Consultant and Accountant, based in Chicago. He runs Financial Immersion Consultants and claims to be in the accounting services sector for more than 40 years.

According to his website, he is a Certified Public Accountant and the owner of Healthy Vending LLC. Also, his website highlights that he has a B.S. in Accounting from Indiana University in Bloomington.

On paper, Robert Rome seems like one of the most credible accountants in Chicago. However, his professional history is ridden with some shady dealings which I must highlight.

They are a big reason why I wrote this article in the first place. More on them below:

When Robert Rome was Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for Stealing $4.3 Million

The controversy surrounding Robert Rome, a Certified Public Accountant from Illinois, involves his criminal activities leading to a federal prison sentence.

Img src – DOJ

Robert Rome was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for embezzling over $4.3 million from trust accounts he was managing for clients and for defrauding the government of more than $1.7 million in federal taxes on the stolen money.

His criminal actions included spending the embezzled funds on extravagant personal expenses such as cars, a boat, vacation homes in Florida, and jewelry for himself and his family.

Rome, who was 66 years old at the time of sentencing, was the managing partner of the former Rome Associates LLP accounting firm in downtown Chicago.

His largest clients included a family that owned a group of plumbing wholesale supply companies, to whom he provided accounting and tax services. Rome pleaded guilty to wire and tax fraud in September 2012. In addition to his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge James Zagel ordered Rome to pay $1,786,053 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Furthermore, they placed him on three years of supervision following his release and barred him from working as an accountant or financial advisor.

There was no restitution ordered for the victim’s family members because they eventually recovered the stolen funds from third parties.

Robert Rome coverage on Chicago Business

When such information is available on the internet, it’s obvious that working with Robert Rome would seem a little risky.

After all, it might seem difficult to trust an accountant who was convicted of stealing millions from his clients.

However, Robert Rome has begun running a reputation clean-up to ensure nobody finds out about his imprisonment.

Is Robert Rome Committing Another Crime Through His Reputation Clean-up?

Reputation clean-ups are pretty common among criminals and online scammers. It allows them to get away with a lot of stuff as the online evidence of their past shenanigans becomes unreachable.

The things one has to do to perform a reputation clean-up might be a bit sketchy and even illegal.

A better-recognized term for this is “Reputation Laundering”.

Some activities that usually take place during reputation laundering include:

  • Posting misinformation through promotional articles to distract consumers.
  • Removing negative content pieces from the internet using unethical means.
  • Burying the negative media by posting a ton of promotional content.

All of this leads to a lot of misleading information being present on the web. Reputation laundering is quite harmful to consumers because it results in the burial of truth and the propagation of lies.

For example, in the case of Robert Rome, prospective clients won’t be able to find out about his past arrest and conviction. While this may benefit Robert, it puts his future clients at a huge disadvantage.

A similar case is of David Rocker. David was involved in several scams and is now running a financing company. The future clients of his financing company won’t be able to find out about his previous scams because of his reputation clean-ups.

Certainly, reputation laundering is extremely dangerous. It’s unethical and leads to a ton of problems for everyone.

Additional harms of reputation laundering include:

Reputation laundering is harmful because it allows individuals or entities with a history of unethical or illegal behavior to disguise their past and integrate into reputable circles. This can lead to several negative consequences:

  1. Deception: It misleads the public, investors, and regulators about the true nature of an individual’s or entity’s activities, creating a false sense of trustworthiness.
  2. Evasion of Accountability: Reputation launderers can evade sanctions and scrutiny, which means they can continue their harmful activities without facing consequences. The example of David Rocker is a great one.
  3. Corruption of Institutions: By donating to charities, universities, and political parties, reputation launderers can corrupt these institutions and potentially influence them to serve their interests instead of the public good.
  4. Undermining Democracy: Reputation laundering can enable kleptocrats and other corrupt individuals to manipulate democratic processes and institutions, weakening the foundations of democratic societies.
  5. Distortion of Markets: It can distort financial markets by making it difficult to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate activities, leading to unfair competition and market inefficiencies.
  6. Social Harm: Reputation laundering can facilitate the expansion of criminal operations, as it allows criminals to legitimize their ill-gotten gains and use them to further their illegal activities.

In essence, reputation laundering is dangerous because it allows bad actors to continue their harmful behavior under the guise of respectability, which can have wide-ranging negative effects on society and the economy.

Verdict

Robert Rome might be one of the most experienced CPAs in Chicago and that’s all good. I’m not against him promoting his business. However, when someone resorts to unethical marketing tactics, it becomes difficult to trust their claims.

More particularly, when that someone is a convicted fraudster who was sentenced for stealing from his clients, it becomes challenging to trust that person.

Robert’s reputation clean-up might help him in the short term. However, the only people who’d lose would be the prospective clients of Financial Immersion Consultants as they won’t be able to find out the truth about him.

What are your thoughts on Robert Rome of Chicago? Let me know in the comments.

Share This Article
10 Comments
  • This article really sheds light on the importance of doing thorough background checks before engaging with professionals, especially in financial matters.

  • It’s interesting to see the lengths to which individuals will go to clean up their reputation. This practice seems to undermine the transparency that’s crucial in the finance industry.

  • While reading this, one has to wonder about the effectiveness of our justice system if convicted felons can so easily return to business as usual.

  • The article presents a compelling case about reputation laundering. Though, I’m curious about what legal measures are available to combat such tactics.

  • One could argue that everyone deserves a second chance, but it’s also crucial for past actions to be accessible and transparent for informed decision-making.

  • Artikelen som denna är viktiga då de lyfter fram betydelsen av att göra ordentlig bakgrundskontroll innan man engagerar sig med finansiella rådgivare. Tack för att ni belyser detta.

  • Det är intressant att se hur personer som Robert Rome använder sig av metoder som ‘reputation laundering’. Det är viktigt att vara medveten om dessa tekniker.

  • Jag undrar hur effektiv ‘reputation laundering’ egentligen är på lång sikt? Förtroende är trots allt en grundpelare i finansiella relationer och det tar tid att bygga upp igen.

  • Det här fallet visar tydligt hur viktigt det är med transparens i finansbranschen. Hoppas att det blir striktare regler för att förhindra sådant här i framtiden.

  • Jag uppskattar djupdykningen i Robert Romes förflutna. Det är ett bra exempel på varför man inte bara ska ta information från företags egna sidor utan också göra en oberoende granskning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *