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Medical consultant, wife sentenced to prison for not paying taxes

Three months after a jury convicted Howard Awand and his wife of willfully failing to pay $2.5 million in income taxes, the couple on Tuesday was sentenced to prison by U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson.

Howard Awand, 65, received a four-year prison term, and Linda Awand, 61 received a three-year prison term. Howard Awand’s sentence was greater because he was found to have provided false testimony during trial. Both still owe the $2.5 million in restitution.

Neither defendant currently lives in Nevada.

In January, Howard and Linda Awand were convicted of four counts of willful failure to pay income taxes, a misdemeanor.

In March, Howard Awand, a former medical consultant, pleaded guilty in connection with a high-profile fraud case where he was accused of conspiring with attorneys and health care providers to inflate personal injury settlements and judgments.

Awand pleaded guilty to a charge of misprision of felony and admitted that he failed to report the criminal activity of his co-defendants. He is scheduled to be sentenced in that case on June 25.

In a prepared statement, U.S. attorney Daniel Bogden, said of the tax case: "We are very pleased with the sentence and feel that it is just and appropriate given the significant tax loss and period of time over which the offenses occurred."

During the tax trial, prosecutors alleged the Awands maintained a lavish lifestyle during the years they didn’t pay their taxes: 2001 through 2004.

From 2001 through 2005, according to evidence presented at trial, the Awands spent about $2.9 million on renovations of three homes, $1 million on antiques, $696,000 on real property, $215,000 for a Bentley automobile, $213,000 on art and furnishings, $87,000 on a birthday party for Howard Awand and $60,000 on wine.

They paid about $642,000 during that time toward their taxes.

"Despite earning millions of dollars in income, Mr. Awand chose not to pay his taxes and to live a lavish lifestyle on the taxpayers’ dime until he got caught," Bogden said.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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