A Cheyenne, Wyoming, resident, who created exercise equipment, was sentenced to prison on Wednesday.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly H. Rankin sentenced Douglas Brendle to 18 months in prison on two counts of willfully failing to file his income tax returns and one count of making a fraudulent application for health care benefits.
According to court documents, from 2008-2012 Douglas E. Brendle owned and operated Brendle Climbing Systems LLC, which sold exercise equipment. In January 2013, Brendle sold the rights to its exercise equipment to investors. In exchange, he received nearly $1.5 million in payments during the period of 2013-2014. Despite receiving this income, Brendle failed to file individual tax returns or pay income taxes in 2013 or 2014 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Brendle’s conduct caused a tax loss of $404,501.
Additionally, during 2013-2014, Brendle fraudulently received health care benefits for himself and his family from Wyoming Medicaid, a jointly administered federal-state health care program that pays for medical care for eligible low-income individuals and families. In December 2013, Brendle caused a false renewal application to be filed for Wyoming Medicaid claiming his household had no income. During 2013–2014, Wyoming Medicaid paid Brendle $17,173.70 in benefits to which he and his family were not entitled.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. Magistrate Judge Rankin ordered Brendle to serve one year of supervised release and to pay restitution of $404,501 to the IRS and $17,173.70 to Wyoming Medicaid.