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Santa Rosa Husband-Wife Doctors Charged With Using Gold Coin Purchases In Tax Evasion Scheme

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A married pair of doctors from Sebastopol are facing federal charges in alleged scheme to conceal their income and evade higher tax payments through purchases of gold and silver coins.

Robert Rowen and Teresa Su, ages 69 and 66 respectively, were named in a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury charging them with conspiracy to defraud the United States, as well a tax evasion. Rowen and Su operate an alternative medicine clinic in Santa Rosa.

According to the indictment, the two doctors conspired to evade paying Rowen's federal income tax liabilities by concealing his ability to pay for 12 years, from 1992 through 1997 and 2003 through 2008. Prosecutors also allege Rowen and Su converted revenue into gold and silver coins, placed assets under different names or entities, deposited Rowen's revenue into nominee bank accounts, and used cash to conduct personal and professional business while providing false information to the IRS.

Prosecutors allege the couple instructed patients to make checks for their medical services payable to gold dealers, who then would purchase gold and silver coins. The indictment also alleges Rowen established a company, Lotus Management LLC, in order to deposit funds into a bank account opened in the company's name and used the proceeds to buy gold and silver coins.

During the same time, the couple allegedly used cash to pay the rent for the medical practice as well as to pay the balance on credit cards used to cover
various business and personal expenses, the indictment alleges.

Eventually, both individually and through nominees, the couple converted nearly $4 million of Rowen's revenue to gold and silver coins between 2007 and 2014, according to the indictment.

If convicted of conspiracy, both Rowen and Su face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution. A tax evasion conviction would have them facing a maximum three-year prison sentence plus another $250,000 fine.

Both Rowen and Su made their initial court appearance last week and are currently out on $200,000 bond. Their trial was scheduled to begin on February 22, 2021.

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