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Former Greensburg man imprisoned for tax evasion

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By Richard Gazarik
Friday, May 2, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

A West Virginia man who operated a drug testing lab in Hempfield will serve 15 months in federal prison for evading $102,000 in taxes.

James R. Corbitt, 67, of Clarksburg managed Nexus Drug Testing Services on Route 30. He pleaded guilty in December to one count of tax evasion. Between 2005 and 2009 he earned more than $500,000 but only paid $14,000 in taxes, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Kaufman.

Corbitt was ordered to serve three years on probation.

The lab was in the building that houses Westmoreland Pain Management and Physician Specialty Services, which referred patients to Nexus for blood and drug tests.

Corbitt was charged with four counts of tax evasion but pleaded guilty to one count as part of a plea deal, according to court records.

He reported income ranging from zero in 2005 to nearly $45,000 in 2010, when he actually earned more than $141,000, according to the charges.

Nexus paid $77,000 for an apartment Corbitt rented in the Greensburg area, $32,000 for a Porsche, nearly $28,000 for an Audi, more than $21,000 for a Volkswagen and another $20,000 for European-made motorcycles.

“He was living a lifestyle most people can't afford,” Kaufman said.

Corbitt didn't speak during the sentencing other than to answer questions and declined comment afterward.

Corbitt's attorney, Stanley Greenfield, argued that his client didn't commit a drug or violent crime, so U.S. Judge David Cercone should sentence him to home confinement, probation and community service.

Cercone said that while Corbitt didn't commit a violent crime, his offense is indicative of a vast, underground economy that is hurting the country.

“I really believe that if everyone in this country paid their fair share of taxes, we could solve so many of our problems,” he said.

Greenfield said his client believed the payments and vehicles were “for legitimate corporate purposes.” Corbitt was just a Nexus employee, he said, and the company was owned by his brother-in-law, who hired Corbitt as “an act of family charity.”

Westmoreland Pain Management and Physician Specialty Services is owned by Dr. Thomas Whitten, according to the company's website.

Greenfield argued that because of Corbitt's health and the fact that his wife is blind, probation or house arrest would have been a more appropriate sentence

Kaufman said that now that the criminal case is over, the Internal Revenue Service will start the civil process to collect the unpaid taxes, but probably won't recover much because Corbitt “has a negative net worth in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at rgazarik@tribweb.com. Staff writer Brian Bowling contributed to this report.

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