LAS VEGAS - The central figure in the FBI's ongoing medical mafia investigation was convicted Thursday night for failing to pay millions in federal taxes. Medical consultant Howard Awand and his wife Linda were convicted of all four counts for failing to pay taxes from 2001 through 2004. The Awands owe more than three million dollars in back taxes. They argued during their three-day trial that they always intended to pay, but did not realize failure to pay federal taxes was a criminal offense that could send them to prison.
The prosecutor demonstrated that instead of using their millions to pay what they owed, the Awands splurged on expensive cars, posh homes, art, antiques, and fine wine. Jurors deliberated less than four hours.
Sentencing has been set for April 7th. Awand will be tried next month for allegedly scheming with prominent doctors and lawyers to siphon tens of millions of dollars away from settlements meant to go to personal injury victims.