News and Press Releases

Carson City Chiropractor Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison for Tax Fraud

October 11, 2007

Reno, Nev. – Lisa M. Getas, a Carson City chiropractor, was sentenced today to two years in federal prison, one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay $48,792 in restitution to the IRS for filing false tax returns, announced Steven W. Myhre, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Richard Morrison, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Tax Division.

Getas, a Nevada-licensed chiropractor who conducts business in Carson City as Lisa Bray-Getas, was tried before the Court, without a jury, in March 2007. In July 2007, Judge Sandoval issued an order concluding that the Government had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Getas had willfully made and signed false individual income tax returns for the years 1999, 2000, and 2001.

In reaching its conclusions, the Court found that Getas controlled an offshore corporation in Nevis, West Indies. Getas wire-transferred funds to her offshore corporation's "warehouse" bank account and caused these funds to be fraudulently characterized as business expenses and mortgage payments to reduce her income taxes. After sending the money offshore, Getas repatriated the funds back to the United States and avoided paying taxes on them by fraudulently calling them loan proceeds. She then spent the money for her personal benefit. As a result, Getas falsely understated her income on her individual income tax returns for the tax years 1999, 2000, and 2001, fraudulently reducing the tax due and owing. The evidence further established that Getas falsely overstated the business expenses of Lisa Bray Getas, Ltd., on its income tax returns for the tax years 1999, 2000 and 2001. This resulted in the company taking improperly large deductions and reducing Getas' tax due and owing.

Getas' sentence included enhancements for obstruction of justice and for using sophisticated means to carry out the tax fraud scheme and to impede discovery of the crime.

In a related case, Roger and Kimberly Steele, Getas' tax return preparers, pleaded guilty to tax offenses. Roger Steele, of Carson City, pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting the filing of a false income tax return, and was sentenced in April 2007 to five years probation and six months of home confinement with electronic monitoring. Kimberly Steele, of Reno, pleaded guilty to corruptly endeavoring to impede and impair the due administration of the Internal Revenue Service, and was sentenced in April 2007 to three years of probation.

Getas is released on a personal recognizance bond, and must surrender to federal prison by November 29, 2007.

The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by DOJ Tax Division Trial Attorneys Caryn Mark and Jay Nanavati.

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