The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced a physician accepted a plea deal after facing accusations of tax evasion. The government stated the physician failed to report on his tax returns for 20 years.
Was it an accident?
In most cases, a prison sentence tied to a tax crime involves an element of intention. The government will often need to establish the accused acted to avoid his or her tax obligations.
In this case, the prosecution was able to build a case to establish the accused had actively used various entities to hide his assets from the government. The government also gathered evidence to show the accused had set up bank accounts and purchased property under the names of these entities to further avoid detection.
After facing this evidence, the accused chose to accept a plea deal.
Why did the physician accept the plea deal?
The government may have threatened additional charges if the accused chose to fight the allegations in court. Instead, the doctor chose to accept a plea deal that involved an admission of guilt to one count of tax evasion. He faced a five-year prison sentence, $250,000 in fines and three years of supervised release for this crime.
The court recently announced sentencing. The physician was sentenced to one-year imprisonment, three years of supervised release and $128,964 in restitution payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
What can others learn from this case?
The case provides an example of the penalties that can come with tax crimes. Those who are under investigation for similar charges are wise to act to protect their interests. Defenses are available. An attorney can review the situation and discuss your options.