Las Vegas Paralegal Sentenced to 15 Months
In Prison for Income Tax Evasion
Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Byram Tichenor, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation for Nevada and Utah, announced that RONNIE LEE BROWN, a paralegal who worked for several law firms in Las Vegas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Kent Dawson to 15 months in prison for attempted tax evasion. BROWN pleaded guilty in February of this year to a Superseding Indictment charging him with four counts of tax evasion. BROWN devised a scheme in which he diverted settlement checks from personal injury clients and medical providers for his own use by forging the payees' names on the checks and negotiating them at local banks in Las Vegas. BROWN admitted to evading $184,194 in tax on $506,166 of unreported income, with much of the unreported income consisting of embezzled funds. In 1993, Brown filed a tax return that failed to report all of his income and claimed false and inflated business expenses, and in 1994, 1995, and 1996, Brown failed to file any tax returns at all, even though he had income.
BROWN was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $278,409 in restitution to the victims, which included the Internal Revenue Service and the clients and medical providers whose names he forged on the checks and deposited into his own bank account. BROWN must contribute 50 percent of any monies he earns in prison and 10 percent of any salary he earns after his release from prison to the restitution order. BROWN was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his release from custody, must perform 100 hours of community service, must work with the IRS to repay his tax debts, must undergo treatment for gambling addiction, and may not be employed by the gaming industry during the period he is on supervised release. BROWN will remain free on a personal recognizance bond, and was permitted to self-surrender to the designated federal correctional facility by July 31, 2002.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of IRS Criminal Investigation in Las Vegas and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Davis.