Crime & Courts

Doctor pleads guilty to filing false tax return

A Florence area doctor has pleaded guilty in federal court to filing a false income tax return.

Peter Zavell pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of filing a false tax return for the year 2000, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday. Zavell was scheduled to begin trial in Florence. Zavell was indicted in August 2007 for conspiracy to impede the IRS and for filing false returns for years 2000 and 2001. According to the indictment, Zavell used the “Look Back” and “Look Forward” programs, marketed by Anderson Ark and Associates (AAA) to create fictitious entities and business transactions intended to eliminate his tax obligations. The tax loss relative to the scheme was $244,784.

The indictment indicates Zavell used the program to set up a sham partnership for the purpose of reporting false expenses and eliminating his individual tax liabilities.

“Dr. Zavell joins more than a dozen other AAA 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.

As part of the plea agreement, the government agreed to dismiss charges against Zavell’s wife, Susan Zavell.

A sentencing date has not been set. Zavell faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

-- From Staff Reports