A local orthopedic surgeon couple was sentenced to 5 years in prison for tax fraud. The couple works in Pinehurst as an orthopedic surgeon.
The couple was found guilty of tax fraud in federal employment and individual income tax from their practice in the orthopedic field.
The United States Department of Justice has released a press note regarding the couple’s tax crimes with more details.
James Rice, an Orthopedic Surgeon in Pinehurst, presented all the documents and evidence in the court to place his side in front of the justice. His wife was accompanying him for the same practice.
The couple conspired to defraud the IRS, failed to pay the employment taxes, failed to pay the individual income taxes from their practice. They were also found guilty of not filing their income tax returns.
As per the official press note, the Rice Couple didn’t pay over $2.4 Million taxes from their total income. It includes personal tax, corporate tax, and employment tax. The couple didn’t file their income tax returns under all these categories.
About Their Profession
James Rice along with his wife Susan Rice owned a Sandhills Orthopaedic which is a medical practice place located in Pinehurst.
James Rice was the primary surgeon in the center while his wife was handling administrative tasks. The couple was successfully running this Medical Practice Center in 1992.
According to the press release, the couple defraud the United States by not filing their income tax returns and paying all types of taxes between the period of 2007 and 2016.
To defraud the taxes, Jame Rices transferred over $1 Million from the main account of Sandhills Orthopaedic to different accounts so that he can save taxes on the total income.
He had transferred the money from the main account of their Medical Practice Center to his accounts, and his wife’s company’s account.
Yes, they own an unrelated truffle company whose owner is his wife i.e. Susan Rice. Besides this, he had transferred the funds to dog kennel boarding and for the country club’s membership as well.
Moreover, data show that James Rice has withheld the employee’s money and their paychecks worth $580,000.
As per the law, the withholding money’s share must be paid to the IRS as taxes. However, the Rice couple used the withholding money for their gain, which is against the law.
In between 2014 and 2016, the Rice couple didn’t file their income tax returns. They didn’t show their withholding money and other incomes in between these years.
They even didn’t file income tax returns for their other entity. They were required to file income tax returns for all these years for both of their entities as per the law.
To sum up this case, the Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division has released a statement saying,
“As a result of today’s sentence, James and Susan Rice’s prolonged effort to evade paying their taxes has come to an end.” “Each year, the vast majority of Americans and businesses follow the tax laws and pay their fair share. Those who willfully evade such obligations should fully expect to be held accountable for their criminal conduct.”
The special agent has further added that “Failure to pay over withheld taxes is a serious offense.” The other officer has also spoken up to this special case, “Employment tax evasion results in the loss of tax revenue to the U.S. government and the loss of future Social Security and Medicare benefits for those employees.
The investigation of employment tax fraud is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation, and our special agents will vigorously pursue anyone who collects these taxes and then uses the funds for their gain.”
The Federal Jury on Sept 20, 2021, convicted the Rice couple for a series of tax crimes.
The jury mentioned one count of tax evasion, two counts for not paying the paychecks to the employees and the taxes on the withholding money, and three counts for not filing the income tax returns for both of their entities i.e. the orthopedic center and the other entity owned by his wife.
Besides this, the Federal Jury also convicted James Rice for not paying the corporate taxes for the above-mentioned years.
About the Imprisonment Call
The US District Judge named Catherine C. Eagles ordered the Rice Couple to serve five years of supervised release. They are asked to pay the $2.4 Million in restitution to the United States.