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La Mirada Physician Sentenced on State Income Tax Evasion

Released: May 05, 2009

Sacramento – A La Mirada physician was sentenced today on one felony count of state income tax evasion, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced.

Eugene P. O’Donnell, whose office is located in Whittier, pleaded no contest in July 2008. O’Donnell was sentenced to 16 months in state prison, ordered to pay restitution to FTB of $373,597 representing the unpaid tax, interest, penalties, plus the cost of the investigation and assessed a $5,000 fine for his tax evasion. O’Donnell was taken into custody after sentencing.

According to court records, O’Donnell failed to file his state income tax returns and claim the income he earned from his practice. The failure to file tax returns is part of the $6.5 billion tax gap California faces each year. The tax gap is defined as the difference between the tax that is due and the tax that is paid.

O’Donnell’s case was discovered by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Fraud Interdiction Program. This marks another conviction for this successful program. Launched in 2004, the program is an effective tool used to investigate and prosecute health care fraud cases, which cost health insurers and government-funded health plans more than $100 billion nationally each year. The program targets attorneys, medical doctors, chiropractors, dentists and clinic owners who have allegedly engaged in health care fraud. The program was designed and implemented by Deputy District Attorney Al MacKenzie, who has more than 30 years experience as a prosecutor.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley handed down the sentence in Department 102 of the Clara Shortridge Folz Criminal Justice Center. This was a joint investigation between the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and FTB.