SANTA ANA, California – A licensed psychiatrist who practices in Long Beach has been sentenced to over four years in federal prison for paying a $30,000 cash bribe to a revenue agent with the Internal Revenue Service who was auditing the man’s tax returns.
Dr. Harshad Shah, 62, of Cypress, was sentenced on Friday by United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney.
Shah was convicted of one count of bribery of a public official by a federal jury after a five-day trial in October 2016. The federal jury found that Shah paid a $30,000 cash bribe to an IRS revenue agent who had determined Shah owed $410,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties.
Prior to pronouncing the sentence on Friday, 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.”
After imposing the 51-month prison sentence, Judge Carney remanded Shah into custody.
This case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Waier of the Santa Ana Branch Office.
Central District of California DOJ / Release No. 17-199 / November 6, 2017