WASHINGTON – Bradley C. Brennecke, a resident of Pleasant Plain, Ohio, and Bruce A. Mrusek, a resident of Maineville, Ohio, pleaded guilty late Tuesday to conspiracy and tax evasion charges before District Court Judge Michael R. Barrett in Cincinnati, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.
Mrusek and Brennecke, who are both dentists, were indicted in July 2009 and charged with tax evasion, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and passing fictitious instruments. Mrusek and Brennecke were scheduled to begin trial on Jan.11, 2010. However, both defendants failed to appear in court. Both defendants were subsequently arrested. Facing trial on multiple counts, each defendant elected to plead guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion.
According to admissions made by the defendants at the plea hearing, Brennecke, who operated Goshen Family Dentistry Ltd. in Goshen, Ohio, failed to pay taxes for 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Brennecke transferred title of his house to his wife to conceal it from the IRS, sent the government bogus documents that purported to pay his tax liabilities and filed false tax returns.
According to admissions made by the defendants at the plea hearing, Mrusek, who owned and operated Wilmington Dental Management Services in Wilmington, Ohio, evaded his 2002, 2003 and 2004 taxes by transferring his assets to his wife’s name, sending bogus documents to the IRS that purported to pay his tax liabilities, using a trust to pay personal expenses and filing false personal tax returns. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Mrusek filed false tax returns for Wilmington Dental Management Services by reporting deductions that the business did not incur.
According to admissions made by the defendants at the plea hearing, Brennecke and Mrusek conspired to defraud the IRS beginning around the time that the IRS began civil audits of each of them. Brennecke and Mrusek assisted each other in the mailing of various fraudulent documents to the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department. Brennecke assisted Mrusek in the transfer of assets out of Mrusek’s name. For each defendant, the total attempted tax loss was between $400,000 and $1 million.
Judge Barrett has not yet set a sentencing date. Both men face a maximum term of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000.
John A. DiCicco, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, commended the IRS Criminal Investigation Division who investigated this case, as well as Tax Division trial attorneys Shawn T. Noud and Daren H. Firestone who prosecuted this case.