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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



APRIL 13, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CARTHAGE SURGEON, BROTHER INDICTED FOR TAX FRAUD


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Carthage, Mo., surgeon and his brother, who worked as his office manager, were indicted by a federal grand jury for a tax fraud conspiracy in which they attempted to avoid paying federal income taxes on nearly $1.6 million earned by the medical practice.


             Brian Keith Ellefsen, 44, and Mark Edward Ellefsen, 37, both of Carthage, were charged in a seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Thursday, April 12, 2007.


             Brian Ellefsen was an orthopedic surgeon who owned and operated a practice called Southwest Missouri Bone and Joint, Inc., located in Carthage. Mark Ellefsen was the office manager of the medical practice.


             Count One of the federal indictment alleges that, from July10, 1997 to Aug. 10, 2003, Brian and Mark Ellefsen conspired to divert approximately $1,567,100 from Southwest Missouri Bone and Joint to Brian Ellefsen, without paying any taxes on the diverted funds. According to the indictment, the Ellefsens established accounts at several financial institutions in the names of various trusts and offshore bank accounts. They allegedly used those accounts and entities to engage in a series of sham paper transactions having no economic substance or business purpose, which resulted in the concealment of funds from the IRS and the attempted illegal reduction or elimination of federal tax liability.


             Money diverted and concealed for the benefit of Brian Ellefsen, the indictment alleges, was used to pay for cash withdrawals and charges made on an offshore credit card, payments for personal expenses, payments on loans, expenditures for the construction of his family home, and expenditures for the purchase of another residence located on Table Rock Lake.


             Counts Two through Four of the federal indictment allege three separate instances, from 2001 to 2003, in which Brian Ellefsen filed a false income tax return. In each of those three years, the indictment alleges, Brian Ellefsen received income substantially in excess of the amount reported on his U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.


             Counts Five through Seven of the federal indictment allege three separate instances, from 2001 to 2003, in which Mark Ellefsen aided and assisted in the preparation of a false income tax return on behalf of Brian Ellefsen.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Steven M. Mohlhenrich, trial attorney in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html