News and Press Releases

Former Essex Junction Optometrist, Dr. John Ellison, Sentenced To Jail For Corruptly Endeavoring To Obstruct And Impede The Due Administration Of Internal Revenue Laws

April 30, 2013

Tristram J. Coffin, United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, stated that Dr. John Ellison, 51, of Prior Lake, Minnesota, was sentenced on April 29, 2013 by Senior U.S. District Court Judge, J. Garvan Murtha, to six months in prison for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of Internal Revenue laws.  He was also sentenced to one year of supervised release after the conclusion of his prison term.

According to Court records, between approximately 1999 and 2008, Dr. Ellison did not pay federal income taxes that were due and owing to the Internal Revenue Service and, in connection with those taxes, corruptly endeavored to obstruct and impede the IRS from collecting those tax obligations.  Among other things, Ellison hid his income and assets from the IRS by transferring his real estate to trust entities, entering into sham leases for his optometric equipment, maintaining bank accounts in his wife’s maiden name, using a so-called “warehouse bank” to hide his monetary assets, and maintaining money in an off-shore account located in the country of Panama.

Dr. Ellison was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 25, 2010 and was arrested in Minnesota on April 15, 2010.  He pled guilty to corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of IRS laws on April 25, 2011.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Treasury, Office of the Inspector General.  The United States Attorney, Tristram J. Coffin, commends those agencies for their work.  The case was prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Paul Van de Graaf and Assistant United States Attorney, Nancy J. Creswell.  Dr. Ellison was represented by Robert Hemley, Esq.

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