Salisbury Chiropractor Sentenced To Prison For Filing False Tax Returns And Obstructing IRS
Filed Tax Returns for Seven Years Reporting $0 in Business Income
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Baltimore, Maryland – United States District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Dr. Warren Gregory Belcher, age 60, of Salisbury, Maryland today to 15 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for filing fraudulent income tax returns and attempting to obstruct the internal revenue laws.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
According to the evidence presented in court, Dr. Warren Gregory Belcher, 60, operated a chiropractic business for nearly 20 years. During that time, he received income for chiropractic services from insurance companies, patients and other third parties, including another chiropractor in Baltimore. From 2009 through 2015, Belcher filed individual income tax returns that fraudulently claimed that he had earned no business income, when, in fact, the evidence at trial established that he received payments totaling more than $350,000 during that time period. Belcher filed his false 2015 tax return after being notified that he was the target of a federal grand jury investigation. He filed an additional false tax return for 2016 while under indictment and awaiting trial.
The evidence introduced at trial included dozens of letters that Belcher sent to insurance companies and other third parties in which he threatened that the companies could be subject to civil and criminal penalties for reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) payments they made to him for his services. Belcher also made threatening statements to an accountant to prevent the accountant from reporting his income to the government. Belcher himself also submitted fraudulent forms to the IRS in an effort to falsely represent that companies that had reported his income to the IRS had not actually paid him that income.
For the years 2009 and 2011, the IRS mailed Belcher notices informing him that his returns underreported his income. The IRS also assessed additional taxes and penalties against Belcher for his fraudulent returns, including a $5,000 penalty for filing a frivolous tax return. Belcher responded to these IRS notices by sending letters to the IRS asserting that the IRS was violating the law by assessing and collecting his taxes.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett ordered Belcher to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $63,763.58.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur praised Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean R. Delaney and Tax Division Trial Attorney Melissa S. Siskind, who prosecuted the case.