fall guy

a fall guy (someone who is punished or blamed for another person's mistake or crime; a scapegoat )

Example:They knew that he was innocent but they were looking for a fall guy to take the blame for the embezzlement. And they set him up as the fall guy. — Они знали, что он невиновен, но им нужен был козёл отпущения, который возьмет на себя вину за растрату. Они выставили его таким козлом отпущения.

[whipping boy]
[carry the can]
[take the fall for sb]
[shoulder the blame]
[lightning rod for sth]

Compare to:
Being set up/ framed
Being left high and dry.
Taking the fall.
Selling someone down the river.
Throwing someone under the bus.