Strongsville dentist convicted of attempted tax evasion


Date: October 19, 2022


CLEVELAND — A federal jury today convicted Douglas Smith, of Strongsville, Ohio, of four counts of attempting to evade payment of income taxes for the tax years 2004 to 2012 and 2014 to 2017 after a three-day trial before Judge Dan Aaron Polster in Cleveland.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from March 2006 to July 2016, Smith, a licensed dentist in the State of Ohio, attempted to evade paying income taxes for the tax years 2004 to 2012.  As part of his efforts, Smith placed his assets, including a home in Columbia Station, into a trust, purchased gold bars and coins and filed for bankruptcy.  Additionally, from 2014 to 2017, Smith again attempted to evade paying income taxes by depositing his paychecks in the bank account of a second holding trust.

During the trial, evidence was presented that showed Smith had failed to file an income tax return since 1992 and owed more than $490,000 in back taxes and penalties to the IRS. 

Court records state that in April 2008 and March 2009, the IRS notified Smith of its intent to collect taxes owed that Smith had failed to pay.  Around 2006, evidence presented in court showed that Smith began to transfer his assets into a trust that he controlled to evade the collection of taxes and payment of his mortgage. 

In October of 2010, court records state that the IRS filed with the Lorain County Recorder’s Office a tax lien against Smith, his trust and its trustee.  In August of 2011, the IRS again sent Smith a letter notifying him that their next action was to recommend administrative seizure and sale of any of his assets to satisfy the federal tax liens.

In January 2012, federal authorities seized approximately $250,000 in cash, gold bars and gold and silver coins from Smith’s Columbia Station home for non-payment of income taxes to satisfy federal tax liens.  After the seizure, Smith purported to transfer all his assets, including his Columbia Station home, to a second trust to defeat collection efforts and avoid foreclosure of his home.  

Court documents state that the IRS continued to attempt to collect unpaid income tax from Smith and, around December 2015, served a levy on Smith’s employer.  Smith then filed for bankruptcy and made false statements about his assets to shield them from IRS collection actions.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on February 7, 2023.  

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Patton.