Lawrence doctor convicted on tax evasion

A federal jury today convicted a Lawrence physician and author of tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Mary C. Vernon, 61, Lawrence, Kan., was convicted on five counts of tax evasion. Vernon, who practiced in Lawrence and Shawnee, specialized in treating obesity. She wrote a book with the late Dr. Robert Atkins titled, “Atkins Diabetes Revolution.” She also provided medical services and served as medical director for a number of nursing homes.

During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that she earned approximately $588,686 for services she provided in 2003 and 2004 to Atkins Nutritionals Inc., a company that sold weight loss programs and products.

From 2005 to 2008 she earned an additional $190,000 to promote Dr. Atkins’ nutritional theories, according to the IRS. From 1999 to 2007, the Internal Revenue Service attempted to collect taxes, interest and penalties that Vernon owed and failed to pay from 1991 through 2005. The IRS collected approximately $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. During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Rockledge Medical Services was a sham corporation that Vernon used to avoid paying taxes. She evaded paying incomes taxes for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, according to the IRS.

Sentencing will be set for a later date. She faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.

Grissom commended the Internal Revenue Service, Matthew J. Kluge, Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.

K-State, KU women rowers duel in Sunflower Showdown Saturday in KCK

Will the K-State women’s rowing team repeat as the winner of the Sunflower Showdown against the University of Kansas on Saturday at Wyandotte County Lake?

K-State has won the three past Sunflower Showdowns, while KU has been improving in the past few years and hopes to be better this year.

The interstate rivalry competition starts at 11 a.m. at the lake, 91st and Leavenworth Road, Kansas City, Kan.

Before the two Kansas teams begin, Southern Methodist University and Drake varsity four will begin the day at 10 a.m.

After the KU-K-State first varsity eight rowing event at 12:15 p.m., the Sunflower Showdown trophy will be presented.

At 2 p.m., Southern Methodist University and Drake will join the competition for an afternoon exhibition.

The schedule (subject to change):

10 a.m., varsity four, SMU vs. Drake

10:15 a.m., novice four, KU vs. SMU

10:30 a.m., first varsity eighth, SMU vs. Drake

10:45 a.m., second varsity eight, Drake vs. SMU

11 a.m., fourth varsity eight, KU vs. KSU

11:15 a.m., third varsity eight, KSU vs. KU

11:30 a.m., second varsity four, KU vs. KSU

11:45 a.m., first varsity four, KSU vs. KU

noon, second varsity eight, KU vs. KSU

12:15 p.m., first varsity eight, KSU vs. KU

Trophy presentation

2 p.m., novice four, SMU

2:12 p.m., first-second varsity four, Drake/KSU/KU

2:24 p.m., first-second varsity four, SMU/KU/KSU

2:36 p.m., third-fourth varsity eight, KU/KU/KSU/KSU

2:48 p.m., second varsity eight, SMU/competitors determined by finishes in the morning

3 p.m., second varsity eight, Drake/competitors determined by finishes in the morning

3:12 p.m., first varsity eight, SMU/competitors determined by finishes in the morning

3:26 p.m., first varsity eight, Drake/competitors determined by finishes in the morning


KCK student works on production of ‘Uncle Vanya’

Courtney Romero of Kansas City, Kan., is a member of the company that will present “Uncle Vanya,” Chekhov’s classic tragicomedy, at Emporia State University. Romero is on the scenery crew for this production.

Translated by Brian Friel, this modern adaptation of the Chekhov classic was first produced at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in 1998. Friel’s adaptation renders the language of the play into a modern idiom and offers humor and further developed characters’ roles and relationships.

“Uncle Vanya” will be performed April 16-19 and 23-26 at 7:30 p.m. in the R.Q. Frederickson Theatre in Roosevelt Hall.