Finding the Truth in Fiction


Fiction often has an element of truth to it, but isn’t quite accurate when compared to reality. (Fictional persons, places or things can be used to hide the truth, throwing those seeking justice off base.) A Department of Justice press release tells about a Kentucky doctor that used fictional expenses to claim a lower tax burden with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The press release states that the physician owned and operated a medical clinic offering oncology and hematology services. (Oncology services deal with tumors and cancers, while hematology services include the treatment of blood diseases.) Over a period of three years, he earned more than $16 million in income from the medical clinic, but underreported his net income and claimed millions of dollars in fictitious business and medical supply expenses to lower his tax bill. (It is true that the doctor did have business and medical supply expenses; however, he lied about how much the expenses totaled.)

The 44-year-old doctor pleaded guilty to two counts of filing false individual federal income tax returns. He was sentenced to two years in prison and one year of supervised release to be served at the county jail with a work release that allows him to provide services at a local medical clinic. He must also pay a fine of $100,000 and restitution of $4,532,777 to the IRS for back taxes owed.

It can be difficult to separate fact from fiction when fraudsters are involved. In this particular case, the justice system was able to uncover the truth in this doctor’s fictional tax returns. (Now it is the doctor’s turn to deal with the reality of making amends for his illegal actions.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on a Department of Justice press release entitled ”Kentucky Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud for Claiming Millions in Fraudulent Business Expenses” released on July 7, 2015.

A London, Kentucky, doctor was sentenced today to federal prison in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in London for filing false federal income tax returns that claimed millions in fictitious business expenses, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

Dr. Visa Haran Sivasubramaniam, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar to serve two years in prison and one year of supervised release to be served in the county jail with work release involving providing services at a local medical clinic. At sentencing, Judge Thapar also ordered Sivasubramaniam to pay a fine of $100,000 and restitution of $4,532,777 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.