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Suburban Seattle dentists get prison for tax-cheating scheme

November 23, 2019 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Two suburban Seattle dentists who avoided over $460,000 in income taxes were sentenced to seven days in prison and 400 hours of community service.

U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran says Christine Chen of Renton and Mike Hsieh of Kent were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle for filing false tax returns. They must also each pay $5,000 in fines.

Moran says Hsieh and Chen own Comfort Family Dentistry and that from 2007 and 2014 the pair took steps to hide their income from the IRS to reduce their tax obligation.

Both defendants will pay slightly more than $231,000 in restitution. Their attorneys estimate they will also need to pay an additional $300,000 in interest and penalties to the IRS.

Their attorneys argued for no prison time, noting that the criminal conviction prompted one bank to end its relationship with them, and that the dental practice was dropped as a preferred provider by a large dental insurance plan.