WASHINGTON – A Columbus, Ohio, attorney pleaded guilty today to corruptly endeavoring to impede and obstruct the due administration of the Internal Revenue Service, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman for the Southern District of Ohio.
According to documents and information provided to the court, Marcus “Marc” Dunn has been a licensed attorney in Ohio since the late 1990s. Starting in 2007, Dunn advised and assisted the late Dr. Kevin Lake in various legal matters, primarily related to Dr. Lake’s operation of Columbus Southern Medical Clinic in Columbus, Ohio. Dunn’s specialty during this time was tax law.
In 2009 and 2010, the IRS audited a number of corporate entities controlled by Dr. Lake. When the IRS Revenue Agent conducting the audits requested documents supporting certain tax positions taken by Dr. Lake regarding the clinic’s equipment, Dunn provided the Revenue Agent with “bills of sale” appearing to support the false depreciation deductions that Dr. Lake’s entities had claimed. The IRS determined that these “bills of sale” were false, in that they inflated the value of the clinic’s equipment. At the same time, Dunn supplied these documents to the IRS, he had provided contrary information regarding the true value of the clinic equipment to third parties.
In 2011, Dunn filed petitions in U.S. Tax Court in an effort to challenge the IRS’s determination that some of the audited entities owed additional taxes. In 2014, the case was settled with an agreed amount of $608,583.20 due. On September 9, 2014, Dunn was contacted by an IRS Revenue Officer trying to collect the settlement amount from the Lake entities. Dunn knowingly provided false and purposely misleading information to the Revenue Officer about two of the three Lake entities by telling her that: (1) the entities at issue were closed; (2) he had no idea who the officers of the entities were; (3) the entities had no assets; (4) an IRS Form 433-B, Collection Information Statement for Businesses seeking information relating to property held, would be all “zeros”; and (5) he did not know where the entities banked. At least partially due to Dunn’s statements, the Revenue Officer closed the collection cases because she believed the entities were defunct with no assets.
The parties agree that Dunn is responsible for a tax loss of $507,198.00. The tax loss has since been paid to the IRS using funds seized from Dr. Lake, who pleaded guilty in January 2017 to drug, tax, and fraud charges. Dr. Lake died before sentencing in that case.
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Watson. Dunn faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a period of supervised release, and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Glassman commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Richard M. Rolwing and Carl F. Brooker of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
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