By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
His health problems required attorneys to help Dr. Warner Grentz walk to the stand in London’s federal court on Thursday, where he awaited sentencing on tax evasion charges.
The 64-year-old London physician broke into tears as he addressed U.S. District Judge Van Tatenhoven to offer an apology for his deeds.
“I would like to.......” Grentz began, stopping in an emotional display.
“Calm down and take your time,” Van Tatenhoven said as Grentz’s attorneys, Michael Murphy and Gary Crabtree, handed him some water and tissues.
“I apologize to my family, my friends, to the community, and my patients, who put trust in me, for the way I’ve let them down,” Grentz said. “I can say this experience has been life-changing and you or no other judge will see me in court again.”
Grentz’s statements came after Murphy gave a detailed account of the hardships Grentz and his family had experienced after his indictment on federal tax evasion last year. Murphy said Grentz’s license to practice medicine had been revoked and that his lifestyle had changed immensely by the loss of his capability to earn money.
Although Grentz did plead guilty to withholding paying more than $900,000 in federal taxes between 1999 and 2010, Murphy pointed out Grentz had made sizable monetary contributions to various community organizations, both domestic and international.
However, Van Tatenhoven stated individuals do not have the leeway to choose their own charities rather than pay income tax, and sentenced Grentz to serve an 18-month prison sentence, followed by six months of home incarceration. He must also pay a special assessment fee of $100 and pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $900,000 in taxes from the decade he admitted hiding his income in various businesses he controlled during that time.
As part of his punishment, Grentz will be on supervised probation for three years, cannot possess a firearm, cannot open any new lines of credit, and must file a tax report with the IRS for 2011 and 2012, file timely tax returns thereafter, and cannot obtain or possess a passport.
Grentz was ordered to report to the federal facility chosen by the Board of Prisons on July 30, since they require 45 days after a sentence is imposed to approve the site of incarceration.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Christopher Henry, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, jointly made the announcement.
The investigation was conducted by the IRS, Criminal Investigation Division. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Patrick Grant.