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Louisiana physician convicted of tax evasion

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A federal jury in Baton Rouge found a Louisiana physician guilty yesterday of income tax evasion.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Dr. Melissa Rose Barrett of Baton Rouge, owned and operated two urgent care clinics – Central STAT Care and STAT Care Clinic –  and owed the IRS approximately $1.6 million in taxes, excluding penalties and interest. The IRS notified Dr. Barrett that she owed taxes multiple times and through various means.

The evidence at trial showed that Dr. Barrett undertook a number of steps to evade the payment of her outstanding tax liability, including preparing and filing with the IRS a false form underreporting income and inaccurately detailing her assets and accumulating and concealing cash in a safe instead of depositing it in the bank. Dr. Barrett also purchased millions of dollars of real estate and personal property in the names of nominees, including, but not limited to, a personal residence, a boat, an airplane and several parcels of farmland.

Dr. Barrett faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Gathe Jr. for the Middle District of Louisiana made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Wilson Stamm of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward Warner and Elizabeth White for the Middle District of Louisiana are prosecuting the case.

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