The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas recently announced an obstetrician gynecologist out of Houston, Texas agreed to a plea deal after facing allegations of tax evasion. The government accused the physician of failing to file income tax returns for the last twenty years.
How did the government build a case against the physician? The government accused the physician of actively hiding his assets from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This included concealing business records from 2006 through 2012. During that time, the doctor was accused of taking active measures to hide more than $4 million in earnings from the IRS.
What are the potential penalties? The physician has already agreed to pay $678,103 in restitution to the IRS. This is the amount the government has estimated the physician allegedly failed to pay in income taxes.
The accused will also face additional penalties at sentencing in December. These penalties could include up to five years of prison time and an additional $250,000 fine.
What can others learn from this case? The government takes allegations of tax evasion very seriously. In this case, the penalties will likely be harsh as the government has focused on the fact the physician “knowingly” violated tax law.
The case also provides an opportunity to discuss plea agreements. The prosecution may offer an agreement as an opportunity to potentially take a lesser sentence in exchange for agreeing to forgo continuation of the trial. It is wise to carefully review this offer. An attorney experienced in these matters can help build a defense to the allegations and discuss the benefits and risks that come with an offered plea agreement.