Orthopedic surgeon convicted in tax scheme, allegedly diverted $1M from practice


A North Carolina orthopedic surgeon and his wife were convicted of tax fraud Sept. 20, the Justice Department said.

Four details:

1. A federal jury found that James Rice, MD, owner of Sandhills Orthopaedic and Spine Clinic in Pinehurst, N.C., and his wife, who oversaw administrative operations at the practice, withheld almost $580,000 in Social Security and other taxes from employee wages from 2007 to 2016, according to the Justice Department.

2. The government had claimed that the Rices used the withheld taxes to fund personal expenditures instead of paying the IRS. The couple also didn't file tax returns from 2014 to 2016, according to the Justice Department.

3. Dr. and Ms. Rice transferred funds from the Sandhills bank accounts to other accounts, including one for Ms. Rice's truffles business, to conceal income, and they used funds from the business accounts to pay for country club memberships, rent and other personal expenses, the Justice Department said.

4. The jury found that the couple diverted $1 million from the practice to their personal accounts from June 2013 to December 2016.

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