Mary Vernon indictment ( .PDF )
A Lawrence physician and author was charged in federal court Wednesday with five counts of tax evasion and one count of making a false statement, according to a news release from the office of U.S. District Attorney of Kansas Barry Grissom.
Mary C. Vernon, 60, is accused of failing to pay federal taxes on income she earned working as a consultant and co-author for Atkins Nutritionals Inc., founded by the creator of the Atkins Diet, Robert Atkins.
Vernon is also accused of providing false tax return documents to UMB Bank in 2009 when she applied for a loan to refinance a home she shared with another person. According to the news release, Vernon provided the bank "with documents purported to be copies of pages from federal income tax returns for herself and her partner in 2006 and 2007. In fact, she had filed no tax returns in 2006 and 2007."
Vernon co-authored a book with Atkins in 2004, called the "Atkins Diabetes Revolution." Vernon — who graduated from Kansas University School of Medicine in 1977 — is currently a family practice physician in Lawrence. She's had an active medical license in Kansas since 1978, according to state records.
Vernon, if convicted, could face up to five years in prison on each of the tax evasion charges, as well as 30 years for the providing a false statement charge.
Vernon's attorney, Floyd Finch, declined comment on the case Thursday.