Atkins diet co-author sentenced to 41 months

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 12, 2014 at 11:13 a.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas obesity specialist who co-authored the "Atkins Diabetes Revolution" has been sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison for tax evasion, the U.S. attorney's office announced Friday.

Mary C. Vernon, 62, of Lawrence, who was convicted in March of five counts of tax evasion, was also ordered Thursday to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution.

The "Atkins Diabetes Revolution" was published in 2004, a year after the death of weight loss expert Dr. Robert Atkins.

Vernon earned almost $800,000 by working for Atkins' nutrition and weight-loss companies from 2003 to 2008. Prosecutors said that from 1999 to 2007, the IRS attempted to collect taxes, interest and penalties that Vernon owed and failed to pay from 1991 through 2005. The IRS collected about $2 million in taxes, interest and penalties through levies and seizures.

In 2003, Vernon hired an attorney to create a corporation called Rockledge Medical Services. Prosecutors presented evidence at her trial that Rockledge Medical Services was a sham corporation that Vernon used to avoid paying taxes. Prosecutors said she evaded incomes taxes from 2004 to 2008.

Vernon, who practiced in the northeast Kansas towns of Lawrence and Shawnee, served as medical director for a number of nursing homes. Most recently, she served in a contract position as the director of an emergency room in the southwest Kansas town Liberal, prosecutors said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast