News and Press Releases

Chiropractor and Spouse Plead Guilty to Tax Fraud

July 14, 2004

Las Vegas, Nev. - A Reno chiropractor and his spouse have pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud charges for using a nominee entity bank account and signatories to conceal their true income and assets from the IRS, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Tax Division, and Erick Martinez, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation for Nevada and Utah. The guilty pleas were entered this morning in Reno before United States District Judge David W. Hagen.

DANIEL P. NIGHTINGALE, D.C., whose practice is located at 4600 Kietzke Lane in Reno, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. SHEILA NIGHTINGALE, who manages her husband's chiropractic business, pleaded guilty to Evasion of Payment. Both charges are felonies for which the statutory maximum penalties are five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to the indictment, the NIGHTINGALES had failed to file income tax returns for themselves and their chiropractic business since 1991. They had also failed to pay federal income taxes for over a decade, despite generating more than $730,000 in receipts through the chiropractic business.

In their individual plea agreements, both DANIEL and SHEILA NIGHTINGALE acknowledged using a nominee entity by the name of "CPA Chiropractic Professional Agreement." The NIGHTINGALES admitted using two individuals as nominee signatories on the "CPA" bank accounts to conceal their business income and assets from the IRS, while retaining total control over the funds deposited and withdrawn from those accounts.

Further, both defendants admitted to dealing in cash and keeping minimal funds in their personal bank accounts to frustrate the collection of their outstanding tax liabilities. In addition to hiding their assets, they informed the IRS employee assigned to collect their past due taxes that they were not required to file federal income tax returns or pay federal income taxes.

In his plea agreement, DANIEL NIGHTINGALE also admitted to causing a false lien to be filed with the Nevada Secretary of State that fraudulently encumbered the assets of his chiropractic business, preventing the Internal Revenue Service from seizing those assets as payment of his past due income tax liabilities.

According to the terms of their individual plea agreements, the defendants must meet with the Internal Revenue Service and cooperate in the determination of their correct income tax liabilities for the years 1993 through 2003, prior to their sentencing hearing. Judge Hagen scheduled the sentencing hearing for both defendants for January 10, 2005, when the Court will formally accept the guilty pleas. Both defendants are released on bond pending sentencing.

This case was prosecuted by U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorneys Nicholas D. Dickinson and Lori A. Hendrickson, with the support of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada. This prosecution resulted from a long-term investigation conducted by Special Agents of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

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