DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham dentist has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Santa Maria McKibbins will serve a year-and-a-day in federal prison and a year of supervised release, according to the Justice Department.
The Oct. 26 ruling also ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $235,298.
Documents say McKibbins was a licensed dentist and ran a dental practice known as McKibbins Family Dentistry in Durham.
Before her sentencing hearing, she faced a maximum sentence of three years in prison, monetary penalties, and a period of supervised release of up to one year, according to a release.
Sandra J. Hairston, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, says McKibbins pleaded guilty July 29 to filing a false tax return.
McKibbins withheld information from a tax preparer regarding income and personal use of funds related to her business, according to an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.
A review of her expenditures shows her actual income far exceeded the income she reported to the IRS. Bank records also confirmed annualized personal income that exceeded the amount McKibbins listed on her tax return.
From 2013 to 2018, Hairston says McKibbins took insurance and copayment checks made out to her business and put them in her personal checking account, which she then used for mortgage payments and payments on multiple cars.
“To attempt to evade taxes by hiding income and filing false returns, is a theft from the American public. It is a felony offense that carries severe consequences,” said Donald “Trey” Eakins of the IRS Criminal Investigation, Charlotte Field Office. “The overarching principle of IRS’s enforcement strategy is simply this: We protect the integrity of the tax system by ensuring everyone pays their fair share of tax.”
She is not scheduled to have any additional court dates.