CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Robert Vanderhorst, the man who was accused of stealing nearly $2 million over his time working for the Clark County Auditor’s Office has been sentenced.

According to Clark County Auditor John Federer, former employee Robert M. Vanderhorst stole money from Clark County citizens by allegedly using a fake vendor to create invoices and checks. Federer said in a statement on his website, “…It’s been alleged that Bob Vanderhorst used the extensive knowledge, tenure, and trust gained over a thirty-year career in Clark County to steal money.”

According to Federer, an employee discovered the fraud by noticing a strange transaction in October of 2021. The employee notified Federer who immediately fired Vanderhorst.

Federer believes Vanderhorst was able to hide the theft due to his extensive knowledge of the office and its financial management systems. From 2013 to 2015, Vanderhorst was on a team that headed a major system upgrade which allowed him to keep his thefts undetectable, Federer said.

According to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office, Vanderhorst was indicted for one count of Theft in Office on Jan. 14, 2022. On April 25, he was indicted for a total of two counts of theft, a felony of the first degree, and one count of Theft in Office, a felony of the third degree.

He was arraigned on May 2, and his bond was set at $100,000. Vanderhorst made bail through Castle Bail Bonds, a local bail bonds company.

At the end of August, Vanderhorst pleaded guilty to one count each of Theft in Office and Aggravated Theft. He was sentenced on Thursday, September 15 to seven years in prison, Federer said.

“I’m pleased to see justice served for this office and the residents of Clark County,” Federer said. “A betrayal of the public trust on this magnitude is frustrating and difficult to digest, but I believe that our office responded well and that we have emerged with stronger operations than ever before.”

According to the Ohio Revised Code, this conviction means that Vanderhorst will be forever disqualified from holding public office in this state.