A 74-year-old Farmington Hills doctor who owned a chain of sleep clinics has been sentenced to two years in prison for obstructing an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigation.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said in a press release that Richard MacAuley, M.D., pleaded guilty in January to misleading IRS officers, withholding records from the IRS, and providing a false document in response to an IRS summons.
In December 2017, the IRS was investigating Dr. MacAuley’s chain of sleep study clinics, Sleep Diagnostics of Michigan, P.C. (SDM), for failing to pay over $500,000.00 in federal payroll taxes. The IRS was trying to determine whether it could transfer and collect SDM’s outstanding taxes from an Okemos-based provider, Advanced Sleep Diagnostics of Michigan, P.C. (ASDM).
While Dr. MacAuley was ASDM’s owner on paper, he withheld the ownership document and denied any relationship between the companies. He claimed that he sold SDM’s assets to ASDM in 2016. When the IRS issued a summons for the sales contract—a document that did not exist—two individuals created a fraudulent and backdated Asset Purchase Agreement for Dr. MacAuley to give the IRS.
In imposing the sentence, Judge Janet Neff noted that Americans “enjoy tremendous advantages being tax paying citizens of this country, but those advantages don’t come for free. Everyone must stand up and pay their taxes” and “tax evaders really do undermine our whole system.”
“Dr. MacAuley obstructed the IRS’s efforts to collect over half a million dollars in payroll taxes, including tax revenue that funds the federal unemployment trust fund on which millions of Americans rely,” Birge said. “We will continue to work with our IRS partners to hold accountable those who defraud our tax system.”