Zane Memeger U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Zane Memeger. Credit: DOJ

Two doctors from the Philadelphia area are facing prison time over charges of tax evasion, federal prosecutors announced today.

Dennis Erik Fluck Von Kiel, 57, of Phoenixville, Pa., and the former medical director of Lehigh County Prison, was formally indicted today on charges that he didn't pay federal taxes while serving as the prison's medical director and earning a salary of $200,000 between 2008 and 2012.

Von Kiel, who was arrested Feb. 28, didn't pay taxes on the grounds that he was exempt because he was minister of a religion called the "International Academy of Lymphology."


Von Kiel was arrested Feb. 28

Von Kiel reportedly lived under a "vow of poverty" and sent paychecks from the prison to a bank account purportedly for his church, but then transferred the funds into accounts he controlled, and used them for day-to-day living expenses and items such as a batting cage for his sons, prosecutors say.

Von Kiel faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1.5 million

Meanwhile, Dr. Elias Karkalas, based in Upper Merion, Pa., was arrested Wednesday on charges of selling prescription drugs over the internet without reporting his earnings to the IRS, prosecutors said.

Karkalas, who operated Upper Merion Family Practice P.C., allegedly participated in an online pharmacy organization that sold prescription drugs to patients who got a prescription without being examined by a doctor.

Prosecutors say Karkalas authorized 750,000 prescriptions from 2005 to 2011, earning $2.5 million which he allegedly did not report on his tax returns.

Karkalas faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $1.3 million.

The IRS Criminal Investigations division participated in these cases.

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