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Medical Consultant Howard Awand and Wife Linda Awand Sentenced to Prison for Failing to Pay Millions in Federal Taxes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2010

Las Vegas, Nev. – Former Las Vegas residents Howard J. Awand and his wife Linda Awand were sentenced to prison today by U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson for their convictions on four counts of willful failure to pay approximately $2.5 million in federal taxes, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

"We are very pleased with the sentence, and feel that it is just and appropriate given the significant tax loss and period of time over which the offenses occurred," said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "Despite earning millions of dollars in income, Mr. Awand chose not to pay his taxes and to live a lavish lifestyle on the taxpayers' dime until he got caught."

Howard Awand, 65, currently a resident of Vevay, Indiana, was sentenced to four years in prison, one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay approximately $2.5 million in restitution. Howard Awand's sentence was increased for obstruction of justice because the court found that he provided materially false testimony at trial. Linda M. Awand, 61, currently a resident of Stowe, Vermont, was sentenced to three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay approximately $2.5 million in restitution. The Awands were convicted by a jury on January 7, 2009, of four counts of Willful Failure To Pay Tax.

Howard and Linda Awand were the owners of Nevada Medical Consultants (NMC), a medical consulting services company. NMC was taxed as a partnership, and the Awands were responsible for reporting their share of NMC's income on their joint personal tax returns. For the tax years 2001 to 2004, Awand's reported total personal taxable income of approximately $8.1 million. The total tax the Awand's owed for those years was approximately $2.6 million. The government presented evidence at trial to show that the Awands paid $30,000 toward the $2.6 million, but that the payments were not made until after the Awands discovered that they were under investigation by the IRS. The government also presented evidence that instead of paying their taxes, the Awands made extravagant purchases of about $6.7 million, including a $215,000 Bentley automobile, and many other luxury items, such as expensive antique furniture and wine, and held lavish parties at a home they owned in Big Bear, California. The Awands also paid $1.6 in cash for a mansion in Stowe, Vermont. Howard Awand also testified at trial that he falsely told people that he had served in Vietnam and that he had been in the CIA in order to drum up business for his medical consulting company.

The investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Steven W. Myhre and Kathryn C. Newman.

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