DENVER (KKTV) - Thomas Gehrmann Jr., a Colorado Springs chiropractor, was sentenced to two years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing three false income tax returns with the IRS.
Atlas Chiropractic Center at Briargate, Inc. and SpineMed Decompression Centers of Colorado, LLC (collectively, the “Atlas Entities”) are located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and are in the business of providing chiropractic and spine-adjustment related services. During times relevant to this indictment, the Atlas Entities shared employees, business bank accounts, an outside bookkeeper, a Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”), and other resources, which were jointly managed by Gehrmann, according to the Department of Justice.
The Department of Justice goes on to report checks made payable to Atlas or SpineMed were regularly deposited in the business bank accounts for the Atlas Entities, together with patients’ payments via credit card. The actual cash and checks made payable to Gehrmann were placed into a receptacle known as the “cookie jar,” which was typically kept in Gehrmann’s office. Cash payments were kept separately and divided between the defendant and two other chiropractors. Once each week they divided up the contents of the “cookie jar” between themselves and that for certain periods, Gehrmann noted the amount that each person received as his share for that week in a book titled “Secret Records.”
From 2008-2010, the U.S. Department of Justice says Gehrmann and a second Springs resident, 53-year-old Eric Carlson, used money from their chiropractic office for personal use and failed to report that income to the IRS. Following a six-day trial, Gehrmann was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and of filing three false income tax returns. Carlson had already pleaded guilty to the charges in October.
"Tax fraud is not a victimless crime,” said Steven Osborne, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “This is an important victory for America’s taxpayers who play by the rules and have no tolerance for those who shirk their tax responsibilities. The courts have overwhelmingly and consistently shown that you will be held accountable for such actions, and today's sentencing is a costly reminder."
Carlson pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return on Oct. 24, 2018.