Florida Doctor Sentenced for Concealing Millions of Dollars from IRS

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Dr. Patricia Lynn Hough, of Englewood, Florida was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Court Judge John Steele in Fort Myers, Florida. Dr. Hough and her husband was charged for conspiring to defraud the IRS by using offshore bank accounts at foreign banks to hide millions of dollars in assets and income.

Hough, who was convicted by a jury in 2013, and has been sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised release. She has also been ordered to pay $15, 518,382 in restitution and $42,732.27 for costs of prosecution. Hough's husband, Dr. Frederick is awaiting trial. She was also convicted of filing three false tax returns for 2005, 2007 and 2008.

According to court documents and records, Hough owned two medical schools based in the Caribbean, the Saba University School of Medicine in Saba and the Medical University of the Americas located in Nevis, West Indies.

Hough and her husband created and used nominee entities and used undeclared accounts in their names and the names of nominee entities including a foundation, at UBS and other foreign banks to conceal income and assets from the IRS. Both the schools and associated real estate was sold in 2007 for more than $35 million at the time, and all of the money was deposited into undeclared accounts in the name of nominee entities. The records show that between 2003 and 2008, the couple failed to pay more than $15 million in taxes.

The evidence showed that Hough and her husband used the funds in their undeclared accounts to purchase an airplane, two homes in North Carolina and a condominium in Sarasota, Florida.

Speaking on the case, Richard Weber, Chief of IRS-Criminal Investigation, said, "Those who use nominee entities to conceal their assets and income in offshore accounts should realize by now that no bank offering such services will be a safe haven from the IRS … Regardless of wealth, everyone must pay taxes on all of their income, not just the amount they choose to report."

U.S. citizens who have an interest in, or signature or other authority over, a financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 are required to disclose the existence of such accounts on Schedule B, Part III, of their individual income tax returns.

Additionally, U.S. citizens must file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) with the U.S. Treasury disclosing any financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 in which they have a financial interest, or over which they have signature or other authority.

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