A Laguna Beach OB/GYN has surrendered his license to practice medicine in California, which is the latest fallout from him having hidden at least $8 million in an offshore bank.
Dr. Baruch Fogel and his attorney Nicholas D. Jurkowitz signed a letter dated Jan. 30 and 31 respectively that states they accept the Medical Board of California’s action that became effective March 27, according to court records.
Those documents indicate Fogel failed, as required by law, to report to U.S. tax officials that he had more than $2.5 million in the Luxembourg branch of an Israeli bank in 2009. A U.S. Department of Justice press release from Feb. 2, 2015, states that the Israel-born U.S. citizen diverted a total of $8 million to the undeclared account with Bank Leumi.
The lack of disclosure led the U.S. Attorney’s office to prosecute Fogel in federal court, where he faced up to five years in prison if convicted. He instead cut a deal that had him pleading guilty to tax evasion charges in exchange for a sentence of two years probation and payment of a special $100 assessment, a $40,000 fine and $196,382 in restitution to the government to cover the tax years of 2003 through 2009.
Fogel, who had a medical office in Irvine, was first snared as part of a crackdown on Americans concealing accounts in Israeli banks. He popped up in the government’s case against Orange County tax-return preparer David Kalai and his son Nadav Kalai. According to prosecutors, David Kalai met with Fogel at the Beverly Hills branch of Bank Leumi and then helped the doctor with the necessary documents to open his Luxembourg bank account.
The father and son Kalais were later convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States by helping clients set up foreign accounts to evade income taxes. Under U.S. law, citizens with more than $10,000 in a foreign bank account disclose that on their individual income tax returns.
Fogel did not, and a crime such as that is considered actionable by the Medical Board of California, which states it is directly tied to the practice of medicine or surgery. In addition to a conviction on his record, Fogel was subject to license revocation due to dishonesty or corruption, unprofessional conduct and violations of the Medical Practice Act.