A Kentucky doctor who evaded paying more than $1.1 million in federal income taxes has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Dr. Werner Grentz, 69, of London, also is supposed to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
A jury convicted Grentz in March of filing false tax returns for tax years 2011 through 2015. Those returns reported he had no income.
In reality, he earned $726,148 during that time and owed $237,860 in taxes, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr.
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It was not Grentz’s first conviction. He pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 2013, admitting he had his paychecks deposited into the bank accounts of two shell companies to try to hide income. He didn’t file a tax return covering 2009, when his taxable income was $356,073.
That plea deal covered only one year, but the indictment in the case charged that Grentz had not filed a tax return since 1999.
U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove sentenced Grentz to 18 months in prison under the plea deal, which also called for him to pay the IRS $900,068.
The deal also required Grentz disclose financial information and file correct tax returns, but he refused to provide information and, after getting out of prison, gave a probation officer a document forbidding him from entering Grentz’s property, according to a court document from prosecutors.
He also mailed threatening letters to the IRS and county clerks in Laurel and Pike counties over tax-collection liens placed against his property, Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj K. Gupta said in a court record.
Grentz told a judge at one point that he believed paying income taxes is a “voluntary service” and that he did not believe he was under any legal obligation to pay taxes, according to one court document.
The new conviction this year was a violation of Grentz’s release conditions under his prior guilty plea.
Van Tatenhove sentenced him Tuesday to one year for the probation violation and three years on the conviction for filing false returns, for a total of four years, according to Duncan.
Grentz has practiced at hospitals or medical offices in London, Monticello, Stanford, Hyden and Jellico, Tenn., but is listed as an inactive physician, according to federal court records and a state database.