2 Washington state dentists get prison time for $460K tax scheme

Two Kent, Wash.-based dentists were sentenced to seven days in prison and 400 hours of community service for filing false tax returns, according to Nov. 22 Department of Justice news release.

Investigators found Mike Hsieh, DDS, and Christine Chen, DDS, who own Comfort Family Dentistry, took steps to hide their income. In total, the dentists avoided paying $460,000 in taxes.

Court documents claim the dentists had two sets of financial statements for the business. One statement showed actual expenses while the other showed inflated expenses. Drs. Hsieh and Chen gave their accountant the false expense statement.

Additionally, the pair created a bank account that was not disclosed to their accountant. Drs. Hsieh and Chen would deposit patient fees into the account that was not reported as income. The two also took cash from the dental practice and never reported it as income.

Along with their prison sentence, the two will each pay around $231,000 in restitution.

"Dr. Hsieh and Dr. Chen, each filed false tax returns that underreported income and inflated expenses at their dental practice in order to avoid paying income taxes. Their criminal scheme lasted years and cheated the Treasury of hundreds of thousands of dollars," said IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell. "Taxpayers should have confidence that IRS-Criminal Investigation will aggressively pursue tax fraud and ensure that all business owners pay their fair share."

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