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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lehigh Valley Doctor Indicted On Tax Charges

Dennis Erik Fluck Von Kiel, 57, of Macungie and New Tripoli, PA, the former medical director of Lehigh County Prison (“LCP”) was formally indicted today on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and five counts of attempting to evade or defeat federal taxes, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  Von Kiel has been held without bail at the Federal Detention Center since his arrest on February 28, 2014, on a federal criminal complaint.

Von Kiel is a doctor of osteopathy whose medical practice included treating inmates at LCP from approximately March 1989 until approximately August 2013. According to the indictment, Von Kiel earned wages of more than $200,000 a year from 2008 through 2012 and paid no federal taxes during any of those years. Von Kiel had represented that he was exempt from federal taxes because he was a minister of a religious institution called the “International Academy of Lymphology” (and its successors, the “International Academy of Life” and the “Christian Forum Assembly Church”) and had taken a “vow of poverty.” 

It is further alleged that Von Kiel directed his employer to deposit his bi-weekly paychecks into bank accounts for his “church,” and once the money arrived in those accounts, co-conspirators would transfer nearly the same amount of money into Pennsylvania bank accounts controlled by Von Kiel.  Von Kiel then allegedly used that money to pay for all of his family’s day-to-day living expenses and to buy some unusual items such as a batting cage for his sons, all while purportedly living under his “vow of poverty.”

If convicted, Von Kiel faces a maximum possible sentence of 30 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $1.5 million, and a $600 special assessment.

This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark B. Dubnoff.

Click here to view the indictment

An Indictment, Information or Criminal Complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Updated December 15, 2014