A 62-year-old licensed psychiatrist who practices in Long Beach was sentenced Friday to more than four years in federal prison for paying a $30,000 cash bribe to an Internal Revenue Service agent who was auditing the man’s tax returns, officials announced this week.
Dr. Harshad Shah, of Cypress, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney after he was convicted of one count of bribery of a public official by a federal jury after a five-day trial in October 2016, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
During the trial, the jury found that Shah paid a $30,000 cash bribe to an IRS revenue agent who had determined he owed $410,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties, officials stated.
Prior to Friday’s sentencing, Judge Carney denied defense motions for a new trial, to dismiss the indictment, to acquit Shah and to strike the pre-sentence report.
“In denying Shah’s motion to dismiss the indictment, Judge Carney addressed the defendant’s renewed claims of entrapment, writing: ‘The Government played multiple recordings of Defendant’s own words at trial that demonstrated that Defendant was not induced by the Government to commit bribery. The recordings provided direct evidence that Defendant controlled the relationship with [the IRS revenue agent], initiated the bribe offer, and continued to pressure [the revenue agent] to accept the bribe despite [the revenue agent]’s reluctance and multiple reminders that this conduct was illegal’,” officials stated.
After his sentencing, Shah was taken into custody.
The case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Waier of the Santa Ana Branch Office.