A Colorado Springs chiropractor has been sentenced to federal prison after he was convicted of filing false income tax returns.
Thomas Gehrmann, 45, was sentenced on April 4 to two years in federal prison, followed by three years on supervised release. A hearing to determine restitution will be held in May.
Gehrmann was found guilty in November of conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing three false income tax returns.
Prosecutors said Gehrmann was the manager of Atlas Chiropractic Center at Briargate and SpineMed Decompression Centers of Colorado. The two offices were collectively known as Atlas Entities.
Prosecutors provided the following information about how the fraud was committed:
Patients of the Atlas Entities typically checked in for their appointments at a reception desk, completed requested paperwork, and were seen by Gehrmann. Payments for the services were made by means of check, cash, credit card or a third-party payer, such as an insurance company or an attorney. A sign was placed on the Atlas Entities reception desk that directed patients to make their checks payable to the individual chiropractic provider, rather than one of the Atlas Entities. Employees would copy each check received from a patient or third party payer, and compile copies of the checks in the Atlas Entities’ check binder. Daily spreadsheets were created and maintained in the binder, known as the “Daily Stats Sheets.”
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.”
Statements reflecting the deposits into the Atlas Entities’ business bank accounts were sent to the outside bookkeeper, who understood those were the total business income for the Atlas Entities. Those records were in turn supplied to the CPA for his use in preparing documents and filings including partnership tax filings for the Atlas Entities, and individual tax returns of Gehrmann. He did not send to the Atlas Entities’ outside bookkeeper or the CPA the check binders, the Daily Stats Sheets, or any other documents that included records reflecting all payments by Atlas Entities’ patients.