WASHINGTON – The Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today that a federal grand jury in Anchorage, Alaska, returned a superseding indictment yesterday charging Michael D. Brandner, an Anchorage physician specializing in plastic surgery, on three counts of tax evasion. Brandner has also been charged with seven counts of wire fraud in an indictment returned in September 2013.
According to the superseding indictment, Brandner engaged in various activities to evade his taxes for 2008, 2009 and 2010, including making false and misleading statement to IRS special agents and filing false tax returns for each of the three years. In the three false returns, Brandner failed to report the existence of financial accounts in Panama and Costa Rica over which he had signature authority, and also failed to report foreign interest income of more than $9,000 for 2008, more than $150,000 for 2009, and more than $150,000 for 2010. The indictment also alleges that Brandner attempted to evade more than $600,000 in federal income taxes over the three years.
According to court documents, Brandner engaged in a scheme to hide and conceal millions of dollars of assets from the Alaska courts and from his wife of 28 years who was divorcing him. Shortly after the divorce was filed, Brandner left Alaska and drove to Central America after converting assets into five cashier's checks worth over $3,000,000.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If convicted, Brandner faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for each of the three tax evasion charges and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the seven wire fraud charges.
The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and by Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Ignacio Perez de la Cruz of the Justice Department's Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder for the District of Alaska.