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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

Friday, September 20, 2013

Anchorage Physician indicted for wire fraud

Anchorage, Alaska - Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis announced today that an Anchorage physician was indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage, Alaska, on wire fraud charges. 

Dr. Michael Brandner, 64, of Anchorage, Alaska, was charged with seven counts of wire fraud for engaging in a scheme to defraud his wife and the Alaska State Courts.  The indictment alleges that Brandner transferred over $4,000,000 out of the United States to Panama in 2007 and 2008 as part of this scheme.  The indictment charges that Brandner provided false documents to the court to support his claims that the money had been loaned to a foreign entity and was unavailable to be disbursed as part of divorce proceedings.  In 2011, Brandner secretly returned the money to the United States, then totaling $4,656,061.85, in the name of a shell corporation.  This money was seized in Irvine, California, and is the subject of civil forfeiture proceedings in federal court in Los Angeles.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that Brandner faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.  The indictment also includes a criminal forfeiture provision.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon a number of factors, including the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant. 

The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.  The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Alaska is partnering with the Department of Justice Tax Division in the prosecution of this case.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 29, 2015