On November 21, 2016 an Oregon, Ohio psychiatrist was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for tax evasion.
According to court records, from as early as 2005, Dr. Sandra Vonderembse failed to pay taxes and filed and caused to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) false and fraudulent tax returns that included false statements regarding her income and the amount of tax due and owing.
Why did this case go criminal? It is the false statements that get the "tax evasion" count rather than the lesser non-fraud offense of "subscribing false tax returns." Additionally, from 2009 through 2011, Dr. Vonderembse falsely claimed to have no taxable income and to owe no taxes, despite earning more than $240,000 each year while working as a psychiatrist. It is due to Dr. Vonderembse allegedly using nominee entities to conceal income from the IRS, and sending fake financial instruments to the IRS in purported payment of her taxes.
In total, from 2005 through 2011, the government alleged the doctor attempted to evade more than $360,000 in income tax liabilities. In addition to the prison term imposed, Dr. Vonderembse was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $565,128.63.
This is unfortunate and it is not clear how the idea of such nominee entities and falsification occured. However, it is a case in which sending someone to prison for this is more about sending a message to others rather than keeping the streets safe. If anyone has these issues, no matter how bad they are the key is to get ahead of the issue and remedy it before it is an open criminal investigation. We have seen clients get bad asset protection advice and get caught up in financial problems and it is never to late to start to remedy these financial problems.
Posted by Tracy Green, Esq.