A federal jury has convicted Rapid City surgeon Edward Picardi of 13 felony charges related to income tax evasion.
Picardi, who lives near Sturgis, was found guilty late Friday of five counts of income tax evasion, five counts of filing false returns and three counts of failing to report assets held in foreign banks.
"Most people pay their fair share of taxes. Dr. Picardi chose not to, sending millions of dollars of his income out the country and filtering the money through a series of offshore accounts,” United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson said in a statement released Monday.
“The jury saw the effort for what it was and voted to convict him of all 13 counts listed in the indictment,” Johnson said. “Those who try to evade taxes through self-serving and unlawful offshore account schemes like this one, risk federal prosecution and the consequences of conviction.”
At the opening of the three-week trial, assistant U. S. Attorney Kevin Koliner told the jury that Picardi owes more than $1 million in back taxes on income that he ferreted away in foreign bank accounts.
Picardi used an elaborate scheme that involved dummy corporations and several foreign banks to divert a significant portion of his income. The plot made it appear that he was a contracted employee paid only a minimal salary.
The jury found Picardi guilty of five counts of income tax evasion for a period of five years spanning from 1999 through 2003 and three counts of failing to report foreign bank accounts from 2007 through 2009. Each felony carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Picardi was also convicted of five counts of making false statements on his tax returns from 2004 through 2007. Each felony carries a maximum sentence three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In all, Picardi, 55, faces a potential maximum sentence of 55 years and $3,250,000 in fines. In addition, Picardi is subject to restitution, plus interest, fines and penalties on back taxes of $1.15 million.
A sentencing date for has not been set.
At the conclusion of the trial, District Judge Jeffrey Viken ordered Picardi to surrender a shotgun he had been allowed to keep for protection from mountain lions at his rural home. Federal law prohibits convicted felons of possessing firearms.
The doctor remains free on bond.