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Former assisted living CEO pleads guilty to tax evasion

January 4, 2012
by Kevin Kolus
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Ronald E. Burrell, the former CEO of a North Carolina-based chain of assisted living facilities operated by Caremerica Inc., pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service out of millions in employment taxes, according to a U.S. Justice Department announcement Tuesday.

With Burrell at the helm, the Caremerica companies accrued more than $4.5 million in employment tax liabilities between 2003 and 2006, according to the Justice Department.

Burrell filed, or caused to be filed, false IRS forms that reported full payment of the employment taxes due, when only a small fraction of the taxes were paid, the Justice Department said.

The charging document also alleges that in 2003, Burrell acquired partial ownership of Partners Pharmacy Services Inc., which provided prescription drug and related services to the Caremerica assisted living facilities. In April 2005, Burrell sold the pharmacy services company to a subsidiary of Omnicare Inc., and received $1.6 million, which Burrell “took active steps to conceal” from the IRS, the Justice Department said.

At his Tuesday hearing in Wilmington, N.C., Burrell agreed that he should be ordered to pay restitution of $4.8 million. His sentencing is scheduled for April 9.

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