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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 22, 2019

Heppner Physician Sentenced to Federal Prison for Tax Evasion

PORTLAND, Ore.—Kenneth Wenberg, 73, a medical doctor from Heppner, Oregon, was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for failing to report income resulting in a tax loss of approximately $128,000.

“Tax evasion is a crime of greed and arrogance that hurts every citizen who lawfully pays their taxes,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue working closely with our partners at IRS-CI to bring criminal tax evaders to justice.”

“For twenty years, Dr. Wenberg took steps to evade his tax obligation and today’s sentence demonstrates the consequences of those actions,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell. “Tax evasion is IRS-Criminal Investigation’s number one priority and we will continue to prosecute those who fail to pay their fair share of taxes.”

According to court documents, Dr. Wenberg created nominee entities to hide assets and income he personally earned while serving as a physician at the Morrow County Health District (MCHD) and Urgent Health Care Center (UHCC) in Heppner. Dr. Wenberg instructed MDHD and UHCC to make payments for services he performed directly to sham entities to avoid income tax liabilities.

Dr. Wenberg opened numerous bank accounts and purchased real property in the names of his nominee entities. He also paid for his and his family’s personal living expenses out of the nominee accounts. Dr. Wenberg failed to report his income to the IRS, despite knowing he owed taxes.

During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Marco A. Hernandez ordered Wenberg to pay $128,964 in restitution to the IRS.

On February 12, 2019, Wenberg pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion.

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and is being prosecuted by Clemon D. Ashley and Seth D. Uram, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Component(s): 
Updated November 25, 2019