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Press Release

Dual Resident Doctor Sentenced to 52 Months in Federal Prison for Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Louisiana

United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr., announced that U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson sentenced Dr. Melissa Rose Barrett, age 49, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Clive, Iowa, to 52 months in federal prison following her conviction for tax evasion.  In addition to the term of imprisonment, the Court imposed a fine of $200,000 and ordered Barrett to serve one year of supervised release. 

On October 31, 2023, after a seven-day trial before U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson, the jury unanimously convicted Barrett of tax evasion.  Barrett, a physician, owned and operated an urgent care clinic known as Stat Care Clinics, L.L.C. d/b/a Central Stat Care.  As the evidence at trial demonstrated, for tax years 2007 through 2017, Barrett owed significant taxes totaling approximately $1.6 million, excluding interest and penalties.  For more than a decade, the IRS notified Barrett that she owed taxes multiple times and through various means. 

Barrett undertook various steps to evade the payment of her outstanding tax liability, including preparing and filing a false IRS form, underreporting income, inaccurately detailing her assets, and concealing cash in a safe instead of depositing it in the bank.  While owing a substantial tax debt, Barrett purchased millions of dollars of real estate and personal property in the names of nominees.  These assets included a personal residence, boats, airplanes, and thousands of acres of farmland and hunting land.

U.S. Attorney Ronald Gathe said, “ The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting individuals and businesses alike that refuse to perform their civic duty of tax payment.  Paying taxes is a responsibility that we all bear as United States citizens in order to enjoy the freedoms they provide.  This intelligent individual developed a sophisticated scheme and took advantage of our system; however,  her actions were inevitably discovered by our federal partners.  I commend the collaborative work between our federal partners and my office in holding this defendant accountable and issuing justice for the citizens of the Middle District of Louisiana.” 

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations and was prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Edward H. Warner, Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth White, and Trial Attorney Wilson Stamm of the Department of Justice Tax Division. 

Updated April 15, 2024