Salisbury doctor facing time in prison after tax crime conviction

SALISBURY, Md. - A Salisbury doctor is facing prison time, after he was convicted of tax crimes including fraudulently filing tax returns when making over $300,000, in nearly 20 years.

The United States Attorneys Office for the District of Maryland says on Friday, a jury convicted 59-year-old Dr. Warren Gregory Belcher, of Salisbury, for filing fraudulent income tax returns and attempting to obstruct the internal revenue laws.

Belcher, a chiropractor, operated a a chiropractic business for nearly 20 years. During that time, Belcher received income for chiropractic services from insurance companies, patients and other third parties, including another chiropractor in Baltimore. The charges stem from a period from 2009 through 2015, when Belcher filed individual income tax returns that did not report that he operated a chiropractic business and fraudulently claimed that he had earned no business income.

During the trial, authorities report that evidence established that Dr. Belcher received total payments of more than $350,000 during that time period. According to the report, evidence included dozens of letters that Belcher sent to insurance companies and other third parties in which he threatened that the companies could be subject to civil and criminal penalties for reporting payments made to him for his services to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on a Form 1099-MISC. The 59-year-old also apparently made threatening threatening statements to an accountant to prevent the accountant from reporting his income to the government. He also apparently submitted fraudulent Forms 1099-MISC to the IRS falsely representing that companies that had reported his income to the IRS had not actually paid him income.  

The Justice Department's Tax Division says for the years 2009 and 2011, the IRS mailed Belcher notices informing him that his returns underreported his income. The IRS reportedly assessed additional taxes and penalties against Belcher for his fraudulent returns, including a $5,000 penalty for filing a frivolous tax return. in Response, Belcher sent letters to the IRS saying that the IRS was violating the law by assessing and collecting his taxes.  

At the trial, Belcher testified that he filed " zero returns" based on a theory he read in a book called "Cracking the Code." he admitted to knowing the author of the book, Peter Hendrickson, and the author's wife, Doreen Hendrickson, who were both convicted of tax crimes.

The Salisbury man is facing a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison on each count, as well as a term of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. United States District Judge Richard D. Bennett set sentencing for March 9, 2018.

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