Ohio tax attorney sentenced to prison for obstructing the IRS

 

Date: September 2, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

A Columbus, Ohio, attorney was sentenced to 18 months in prison today.

According to documents and information provided to the court, Marcus "Marc" Dunn was a licensed attorney in Ohio. From 2007 until his client Dr. Kevin Lake died, Dunn advised and assisted Dr. Lake in legal matters relating to the operation of his clinics, including Columbus Southern Medical Clinic in Columbus, Ohio. At the time, Dunn specialized in tax law.

Around 2010, the IRS audited Dr. Lake's entities. In response to an IRS revenue officer's request for documentation supporting the entities' claimed clinical equipment depreciation deductions, Dunn provided false "bills of sale" purporting to support the deductions, but which in fact falsely inflated the value of the equipment. At the same time that Dunn provided these inflated values to the IRS, he provided contradictory valuation information to third parties.

In 2011, Dunn filed petitions in U.S. Tax Court challenging the IRS's determination that some of the audited entities owed additional taxes. The case was ultimately settled with an agreement that approximately $608,583 was due. When the IRS revenue officer attempted to collect the settlement amount in 2014, Dunn frustrated the IRS's collection efforts by falsely representing that the relevant entities were defunct with no assets. In all, Dunn caused a tax loss of $513,960 to the United States.

On November 26, 2018, Dunn pleaded guilty to corruptly endeavoring to impede and obstruct the IRS and the Supreme Court of Ohio suspended Dunn's license to practice law in March 2019.

In January 2017, Dr. Lake pleaded guilty to drug, tax, and fraud charges, but died before sentencing in that case.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson ordered Dunn to serve 3 years of supervised release. Restitution to the government has already been paid using funds seized from Dr. Lake.

Special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Richard M. Rolwing and Carl F. Brooker of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.