Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, announce today that after a two week trial before U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, a federal jury in Miami convicted Lourdes Margarita Garcia, 62, of Pinecrest, a medical doctor, of conspiracy to defraud and to file false returns with the IRS, and of three counts of filing false returns with the IRS. Sentencing is scheduled for April 10, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.
According to the superseding indictment, Garcia was the owner and operator of Global Medical Group, LLC, a Sub-S Corporation, or “flow through” entity for income tax purposes, which operated a medical clinic in Coral Gables, and previously in Miami. The evidence presented at trial showed that Garcia, a physician assistant at the time the false tax returns were filed in 2007 and 2008, had originally been the subject of an IRS collection action for multiple years of back-taxes owed. During the collection case, the IRS learned that Garcia and her now deceased spouse were delinquent in filing income tax returns for the years 1997 through 2005. When those returns were filed in August 2007, under penalties of perjury, the 1997 and 2001 through 2005 returns reported $0.00 adjusted gross income, and a 2006 amended return also filed in August 2007, reported less than $20,000 of adjusted gross income.
According to the evidence presented at trial, during a 1997 Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, Garcia filed sworn monthly reports with the Bankruptcy Court reporting $81,000 of salaries and commissions for the months of May 1997 through October 1997. Additionally, during 2001 through 2007, Global Medical Group had steadily increased its revenues from insurance payments and patient fees, from approximately $81,000 in 2001, to approximately $1.9 million in 2006 and $1.7 in 2007, but no flow-through income from Global was reported on the 2001 through 2005 individual returns of Garcia and her spouse. Their 2006 and 2007 returns omitted approximately $400,000 of insurance payments and patient fees from Global. The evidence at trial also showed that in 2007, Garcia and her spouse purchased an approximately $2 million residence in Pinecrest, despite the $0.00 adjusted gross income reported in the 1997, and 2001 through 2005 returns, and the less than $20,000 and $30,000 of adjusted gross income reported in the 2006 and 2007 returns, respectively. Further, the evidence presented at trial showed that Garcia and her spouse conspired to defraud the IRS, by impairing, obstructing and defeating its lawful functions in the ascertainment, computation and collection of federal income taxes, including by withdrawing approximately $900,000 from bank accounts, only days before an IRS Notice of Levy attached to the accounts.
At sentencing, Garcia faces up to fourteen years in prison on the four counts of conviction.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jose A. Bonau and Andy R. Camacho.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.