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Former Potsdam orthodontist guilty in $36 million IRS scam try

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POTSDAM - A former Potsdam orthodontist faces up to 25 years in federal prison after being convicted Monday at trial in U.S. District Court, Albany, of trying to cheat the Internal Revenue Service out of $36 million.

Glenn R. Unger, 62, Ogdensburg, was found guilty of obstructing and impeding the IRS, filing false claims against the United States, tax evasion and passing fictitious obligations, according to a statement issued by Richard S. Hartunian, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York.

The statement said that evidence at trial showed that Dr. Unger engaged in multiyear scheme to obstruct and impede the IRS by filing numerous false and fraudulent claims with the service for payment of refunds totaling about $36 million.

From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Unger filed 14 false tax returns claiming that he had earned substantial income and had withholdings on that income entitling him to tax refunds. Despite numerous warning letters from the IRS that his returns were frivolous, he continued filing false tax returns.

Also, evidence was shown at trial that Dr. Unger attempted to evade payment of taxes owed the IRS. During 2004 and 2005, Dr. Unger earned income and failed to file tax returns reporting the income. The IRS assessed taxes for those two years and also assessed penalties for filing frivolous returns. After the IRS filed a tax lien against property Dr. Unger owns in Saratoga County, he tried to file a fake document with the county clerk attempting to release the lien.

Evidence further showed that Dr. Unger tried to pay off a debt to another orthodontist with a fictitious document purported to be worth $200,000.

In addition to a possibly lengthy prison sentence, Dr. Unger faces a fine of up to $250,000 at sentencing March 10.

A Brooklyn native who graduated from the SUNY Buffalo School of Dentistry, Dr. Unger maintained an orthodontics practice in Potsdam from about 1980 until the early 1990s.

Federal authorities repeatedly have identified him as an Ogdensburg resident.

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