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Bettendorf doctor pleads guilty to failing to pay employment taxes

Bettendorf doctor pleads guilty to failing to pay employment taxes

A Bettendorf doctor on Monday admitted in U.S. District Court, Davenport, that he failed to pay more than $400,000 in employment taxes for three businesses, U.S. Attorney Marc Krickbaum, of the South District of Iowa, announced Wednesday. 

Nirander Kumar, 66, of Bettendorf, faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $10,000 after pleading guilty to a single charge of failure to pay employment taxes. 

He will be sentenced Dec. 19.

Kumar's guilty plea is his latest run-in with police over the past decade.

In late July 2014, Kumar was responsible for paying withheld employment taxes on behalf of Jai Mata Lakshmi, doing business as Embers of Phoenix, according to a media release. 

Jai Mata Lakshmi operated two businesses, Echelon Sports Bar and Embers of Phoenix, at the same Davenport location.

In violation of federal tax laws, Kumar willfully failed to pay the second quarter 2014 withheld employment taxes due on behalf of Jai Mata Lakshmi and admitted to willfully failing to pay approximately $187,000 in employment taxes withheld from Jai Mata Lakshmi employees.

In January 2002, Kumar organized the Bettendorf Pediatric Group in Bettendorf. Prior to 2010 and continuing until approximately May 2012, he operated Bettendorf Pediatric in Davenport, according to the plea agreement filed Monday.

In approximately May 2012, Kumar was no longer practicing medicine but remained involved in signing payroll checks and was responsible for withheld employment taxes.

As part of the plea agreement, Kumar admitted he willfully withheld more than $234,000 of employment taxes withheld from employees’ pay at Bettendorf Pediatric and more than $39,000 in employment taxes for another business, Funky Desi, in Moline.

According to the plea agreement, he also failed to pay $260,004.16 in additional taxes. 

According to Quad-City Times archives, Kumar has a history of sanctions from the Iowa Board of Medical Examiners in connection with his medical license.

In May 2006, Kumar was placed on five years of probation after the board charged him with engaging in unprofessional conduct. As part of his probation, he was subject to monitoring by the board, including substance abuse monitoring and was required to have a chaperone present when treating female patients, according to board documents. 

In April 2007, the board accused Kumar of violating the terms of his probation and engaging in unprofessional conduct and suspended his medical license.

Following an evidentiary hearing, the board in August 2007 concluded that Kumar violated the terms of his probation, terminated the suspension of his license and placed him on probation.

In September 2008, the board filed new charges against Kumar alleging that he violated the terms of his probation when he tested positive for alcohol and failed to call into and provide urine samples for the board’s drug screening program. The board later filed other allegations against him.

In October 2009, following an evidentiary hearing, the board determined Kumar repeatedly violated the terms and conditions of his probation when he consumed alcohol; failed to comply with the board’s drug screening program; used prescription drugs not prescribed for him by a treating physician; failed to notify the board that he used prescription drugs; and inappropriately prescribed medications, including controlled substances, to a female acquaintance without reviewing medical history, without performing a physical exam, and without maintaining a medical record.

The board also found that Kumar either withheld or fabricated evidence that he presented at that hearing and indefinitely suspended his license and ordered that he could not seek reinstatement for at least a year. He also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, according to board documents.

In November 2010, Kumar filed an application for reinstatement of his medical license; the board in April 2011 ordered Kumar to complete a professional ethics program; a professional boundaries program; a record keeping program; and appear before the board prior to reinstatement of his medical license. The board ordered that if he complied with those requirements, he would be placed on indefinite probation subject to counseling and board monitoring, according to board documents. 

His license still was listed as “suspended” on the Iowa Board of Medicine website as of Wednesday.


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