Federal tax case begins today for Rodney Miller Sr.
Published: September 3, 2013
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Former Schneider Regional Medical Center executive Rodney Miller Sr., accused of fraudulently underreporting his income in his tax returns for two years during his tenure at Schneider, is scheduled to go on trial today in federal court on St. Thomas.
The April 4 indictment in the case charges Miller with two criminal counts of assisting and advising in the preparation and presentation of false income tax returns.
However, Miller on Friday filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss one of those charges, contending that the Virgin Islands is not the proper venue for the trial on that count to be heard.
Miller's indictment stems from his individual income tax returns for calendar years 2006 and 2007.
The first count of the indictment alleges that Miller caused a 2006 Form 1040 individual income tax return to be filed with the V.I. Internal Revenue Bureau in his name that he knew was "materially false and fraudulent," in that the return reported total income of $265,198, when he knew "that his true total income was substantially more than the amount reported."
The second count alleges that Miller caused a 2007 Form 1040 individual income tax return to be filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in his name that he knew was "materially false and fraudulent," in that the return reported total income of $255,589, when he knew "that his true total income was substantially more than the amount reported."
Miller was chief executive officer at Schneider Regional from May 2002 to November 2007.
The motion to dismiss the second charge, based on improper venue, states that in April 2008, Miller lived in Weston, Fla., and sought the services of a tax preparer in Plantation, Fla., where his 2007 taxes were prepared and electronically filed.
Noting that the government's theory of liability "appears to be that defendant violated federal law through an act of omission by failing to report certain income to his tax preparer," Miller's motion argues that the proper venue would be in the judicial district where the acts are alleged to have taken place or where the false or fraudulent return is presented or filed.
Miller's motion contends that the proper venue for the second charge would be Florida and that the charge in the Virgin Islands case must be dismissed.
U.S. District Judge Curtis Gomez on Friday ordered the prosecution to file any opposition to the motion by 5 p.m. Sunday.
The maximum penalty for each of the tax charges is three years in prison.
Testimony during a 2011 criminal trial in V.I. Superior Court in connection with a different criminal case - one in which Miller and two other former Schneider Regional executives are accused of conspiring and working together to steal large sums of money from the hospital - indicated that between August 2005 and November 2007, Miller received more than $2 million from the hospital, transferred from a hospital bank account to his personal bank account.
That trial, which lasted six weeks, ended in a mistrial on June 24, 2011, when the jury deadlocked and could not come to a verdict on any of the charges after deliberating for five and a half days.
Miller and former Schneider executives Amos Carty Jr. and Peter Najawicz still face a retrial in V.I. Superior Court in that criminal case, which is scheduled for October.
Carty and Najawicz are not charged in connection with the federal case against Miller.
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