Dentists avoids prison in tax evasion case

November 14, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island dentist who failed to pay taxes on as much as $1.2 million in payments to his practice has avoided prison.

Federal prosecutors say 72-year-old Lawrence Stephenson was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation, ordered to perform 280 hours of community service, including providing free dental services, and pay a $75,000 fine.

Prosecutors had requested an 18-month prison term.

Authorities say the Lincoln resident as early as 2011 began diverting portions of his North Providence practice’s business receipts, including insurance payments, into a personal bank account. The funds were transferred to other banks and investment accounts he owned, and some of the money was used to pay personal expenses.

Stephenson has already paid more than $900,000 in back taxes and penalties.

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