Crime & Courts

Florence doctor sentenced on false tax return charges

A Florence emergency room doctor has been sentenced after federal officials determined he falsified his income tax returns.

Dr. Erik Dehlinger, 46, was sentenced Wednesday to 42 months in prison for three counts of willfully making and subscribing to a false federal income tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Dehlinger was also ordered to pay $363,207 in restitution.

Evidence presented at trial indicated that from 1999 through 2002, Dehlinger enlisted the services of Anderson’s Ark and Associates, an out-of-state organization promoting tax fraud strategies for its members. Over the course of his involvement with the organization, Dehlinger claimed more than $1 million in false expenses and loan obligations in order to eliminate about $360,000 in tax liabilities.

"Dr. Dehlinger joins at least nine other Anderson's Ark and Associates' customers who now wear the lifelong title 'convicted felon' for their participation in illegal tax fraud scams," said Nathan J. Hochman, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Tax Division.

"With the beginning of a new tax filing season, the IRS message is clear: We will continue to investigate individuals who intentionally evade their legal responsibility of paying taxes; it's a matter of maintaining public confidence in the tax system," said Eileen Mayer, IRS Chief, Criminal Investigation.

-- From Staff Reports