FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
TWO DANVILLE, CALIFORNIA DOCTORS ARRESTED FOR TAX EVASION
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Leroy Albert Lewis and Roy Albert Lewis, father and son doctors from Danville, California were arrested on tax fraud charges, the Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. On October 6, 2005, a federal grand jury in San Francisco returned an indictment that charges the doctors with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States by impeding and impairing the IRS in the ascertainment and collection of income tax, and each Lewis individually, with four counts of tax evasion for tax years 1998-2001. The indictment was unsealed today.
The indictment alleges that for more than 10 years, Leroy Albert Lewis, an oral surgeon, attempted to evade tax on income he earned from his medical practice. Around 1995, he joined an organization based in Denver, called Tower Executive Resources, Ltd. (Tower). Tower assisted its members to evade federal income taxes, in part by providing a false invoicing scheme to offset income the members’ businesses earned. Leroy Albert Lewis’ medical practice paid funds to Tower in exchange for bogus Tower invoices to substantiate huge false business expenses Lewis deducted on the medical practice’s returns. Tower then deposited the bulk of those funds into an offshore bank account, which Leroy Albert Lewis controlled. Over the years covered by the indictment, Leroy Albert Lewis transferred substantial amounts of untaxed income from his medical practice to the offshore bank account using the Tower scheme. The indictment also alleges that Leroy Albert Lewis attempted to evade tax on a substantial amount of income generated from the sale of his medical practice in 1998 using a false option agreement crafted by Tower.
The indictment further alleges that Roy Albert Lewis, a dentist and the son of Leroy Albert Lewis, was a member of Tower. Roy Albert Lewis also used the Tower false invoicing scheme to conceal the transfer of untaxed income from his medical practice to an offshore bank account to evade federal income tax.
The indictment also alleges that neither of the Lewises have filed federal individual income tax returns since 2000, despite each receiving a substantial amount of taxable income every year.
Most people obey the tax laws-they report their income to the IRS and pay the taxes due, said Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O’Connor, of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. Honest taxpayers deserve the assurance that those who willfully dodge their tax obligations will be investigated, prosecuted, and punished.
The government will not tolerate abusive tax schemes that promote the use of offshore accounts to illegally escape tax obligations, said Nancy Jardini, IRS Chief, Criminal Investigation. Those Americans who file accurate, honest and timely returns can be assured that the government will hold accountable those who don’t.
In April 2005, two promoters of the Tower scheme, Paul D. Harris and Lester R. Retherford, were convicted of conspiracy and willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns after a trial in Denver. They are scheduled to be sentenced on December 1, 2005. The criminal trial of a third promoter of the Tower scheme, Robert N. Bedford, is scheduled to begin in January 2006 in Denver. Numerous other Tower clients across the country have either pleaded guilty or have been found guilty of tax offenses for engaging in conduct similar to the conduct alleged in the indictment against the Lewises.
If convicted, the defendants face maximum potential sentences on the conspiracy and each income tax evasion charge of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Additional information about the Justice Departments Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.