GREENSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — A Pinehurst surgeon and his wife each will spend five years in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in taxes.
The U.S. Department of Justice said orthopedic surgeon James Rice and his wife Susan were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court.
They were convicted in September of conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax evasion, failing to pay over employment taxes and failing to file tax returns. James Rice was also convicted of failing to file corporate tax returns.
“As a result of today’s sentence, James and Susan Rice’s prolonged effort to evade paying their taxes has come to an end,” Stuart Goldberg, the acting deputy assistant attorney general of the department’s tax division, said in a news release.
“Each year, the vast majority of Americans and businesses follow the tax laws and pay their fair share,” Goldberg added. “Those who willfully evade such obligations should fully expect to be held accountable for their criminal conduct.”
U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles ordered the Rice couple to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $2.4 million in restitution — the amount in personal, corporate and employment taxes that they were accused of failing to pay.
James Rice owns Sandhills Orthopedic in Pinehurst while Susan Rice handled the administrative operations.
Federal prosecutors accused them of transferring $1 million from the business to other accounts they controlled, withholding roughly $580,000 from employees’ paychecks for taxes but using them for their personal gain, and not filing individual tax returns from 2014-16.
James Rice also was accused of not filing corporate taxes for another entity he owned.