Palm Beach County Gastroenterologist Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns
Palm Beach County resident and licensed physician in the State of Florida specializing in gastroenterology pled guilty today to filing corporate and personal income tax returns in which his income was underrepresented, representing a tax loss over the course of four years in excess of $6,000,000.00.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, and John F. Khin, Special Agent in Charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Southeast Field Office, made the announcement.
Krishna Tripuraneni’s, 56, primary place of business is Palm Beach Gastroenterology Consultants LLC (PBGC), located at 1157 South State Road 7, Wellington, Florida. Tripuraneni also operates two other businesses from this same address identified as Palm Beach Surgery Center (PBSC) and PB Anesthesia Associates, LLC (PBA). According to Florida corporate records, Tripuraneni is the listed owner of record of PBGC and the Manager and Registered Agent for PBSC and PBA.
For the tax years 2004 to 2008, Tripuraneni knowingly and willfully underreported his income from the above mentioned entities. Tripuraneni received income in the form of direct compensation, distributions, and corporate funds used to pay for personal expenditures. This resulted in the filing of false corporate and personal tax returns by Tripuraneni.
Tripuraneni utilized funds from the above companies to pay for expenses of a home he built in Manalapan, Florida, to service mortgage payments on condominiums he owned, interior design improvements to his residences, and tuition payments for his children. Some of these payments were then classified as professional consulting, building repairs, and miscellaneous expenses by the companies listed above.
These payments resulted in falsified profit and loss statements being provided to the tax return preparer. These profit and loss statements were used for the preparation of the corporate tax returns and the personal tax returns for Tripuraneni. By providing the return preparer with the false profit and loss statements, Tripuraneni caused the preparation and filing of a false 2006 U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation, IRS Form 1120S; a U.S. Return of Partnership Income, IRS Form 1065 and a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, IRS Form 1040. These returns were false in that the corporate returns included fraudulent business expenses which reduced the corporations’ income and failed to include the diverted corporate income and to correctly report the defendant’s share of the income generated by these companies, thereby understating the defendant’s total income and the tax due and owing on his personal return.
The false returns described herein resulted in a tax loss detailed below:
|Tax Year||Underreported Income||Additional Tax Due & Owing|
U.S. Attorney Ferrer stated, “An individual cannot avoid his income tax obligations by creative labeling. Today’s plea demonstrates our commitment to every American taxpayer that we will identify and prosecute those who use corporations as shields to evade the payment of personal income taxes.”
IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Jackson stated, “As we approach tax filing season, those Americans who file accurate, honest and timely returns can be assured that the government will hold accountable those who don’t. IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to investigating individuals who use their corporations as personal piggy banks to live an untaxed lavish lifestyle and evade their corporate and personal income taxes. We will remain diligent in enforcing the laws to protect our nation’s tax system.”
“As citizens of this country, we have a responsibility to pay our fair share of taxes,” said Kelly M. Darden, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “Do not, as in this case, attempt to knowingly and willfully underreport income—you will be caught. I especially want to thank all the law enforcement agencies of the Greater Palm Beach County Healthcare Fraud Task Force who investigated this case.”
DCIS Special Agent in Charge Khin stated, “This guilty plea is the result of a multi-agency effort to investigate this physician who defrauded the American taxpayer for personal gain. His criminal activities also defrauded the health care system intended to serve U.S. military members.”
Tripuraneni is scheduled to be sentenced on March 19, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, FBI and DCIS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Clark.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.