BROOKLINE OPHTHALMOLOGIST SENTENCED FOR TAX EVASION
BOSTON - A Brookline ophthalmologist was sentenced today in federal court for his failure to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and obstructing an IRS audit.
U.S. District Judge William Young sentenced MARK S. HUGHES, 50, to one year and a day in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $60,000 fine. Prior to the sentencing, and pursuant to a plea agreement, HUGHES paid the IRS $1.75 million in restitution. On July 18, 2011, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion and obstruction of an IRS tax audit.
Had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that from 2003-2009, HUGHES evaded paying taxes on millions of dollars of income causing a tax loss to the IRS of over $800,000. HUGHES accomplished his tax evasion by diverting money that he was earning as a practicing ophthalmologist to Omega, a consulting firm he owned. Through Omega he made over $2 million in contributions to a defined pension benefit plan. HUGHES knew that those $2 million in contributions were taxable income, but did not pay taxes on that amount, instead using those sums to make contributions to a defined pension benefit plan. In 2008, during an IRS audit of Omega’s defined pension benefit plan, HUGHES obstructed that audit by communicating false information to the IRS about the nature of Omega’s business.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sternberg of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.