According to DoJ, Marcus “Marc” Dunn was a licensed attorney in Ohio. From 2007 until his client Dr. Kevin Lake died, Dunn advised and assisted Dr. Lake in legal matters relating to the operation of his clinics, including Columbus Southern Medical Clinic in Columbus, Ohio. At the time, Dunn specialized in tax law.
Around 2010, the IRS audited Dr. Lake’s entities. In response to an IRS revenue officer’s request for documentation supporting the entities’ claimed clinical equipment depreciation deductions, Dunn provided false “bills of sale” purporting to support the deductions, but which in fact falsely inflated the value of the equipment. At the same time that Dunn provided these inflated values to the IRS, he provided contradictory valuation information to third parties.
In 2009 and 2010, the IRS audited a number of corporate entities controlled by Dr. Lake. When the agent conducting the audits requested documents supporting certain tax positions taken by Dr. Lake regarding the clinic’s equipment, Dunn provided “bills of sale” appearing to support the false depreciation deductions that Dr. Lake’s entities had claimed. (REALLY?) 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. (You can not make up this type of unprofessional conduct at best and/or stupidity at worse!)
And as if that was not bad enough, in 2011, Dunn filed petitions in U.S. Tax Court challenging the IRS’s determination that some of the audited entities owed additional taxes. The case was ultimately settled with an agreement that approximately $608,583 was due.
Then the pies de la resistance, Dunn knowingly provided false and purposely misleading information to the revenue officer about two of the three Lake entities by telling her that:
- the entities at issue were closed;
- he had no idea who the officers of the entities were;
- the entities had no assets;
- an IRS 433-B would be all “zeros;” and
- 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. In all, Dunn caused a tax loss of $513,960 to the United States.
On Nov. 26, 2018, Dunn pleaded guilty to corruptly endeavoring to impede and obstruct the IRS and the Supreme Court of Ohio suspended Dunn’s license to practice law in March 2019. The parties agree that Dunn is responsible for a tax loss of $507,198.
The 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 addition to the 18 month prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson ordered Dunn to serve 3 years of supervised release. Restitution to the government has already been paid using funds seized from Dr. Lake.
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