Dr. Franklin Ross Jr., of Ashland, was sentenced Monday to 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to willfully failing to file his federal income taxes.




The local obstetrician and gynecologist will begin serving his sentence on Jan. 25, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.




Ross, who was charged in a four-count indictment in April for failing to file from 2000 through 2003, agreed to pay full restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for all the taxes due for each of the four years he willfully failed to file his returns.




As a part of his plea agreement, Ross, 63, pleaded guilty to not filing his 2003 taxes, and agreed also to cooperate with the IRS in the assessment and collection of income taxes for each of those four years he did not file, prosecutors said.




In 2003 alone, Ross admitted to earning a gross income of more than $409,000. Ross could not be reached for comment Monday or today.




U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown, handing down the prison sentence, said given Ross' education and experience, she found "no excuse" for his failure to file income tax returns.




She rejected Ross' claims that he had simply fallen victim to bad advice from others, and that he was acting with altruistic motives, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.




"Every citizen is responsible for filing returns and paying their fair share of taxes, regardless of their level of education, their occupation, or their social status," said U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut. "Nobody is above the law."




Ross had faced a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a $25,000 fine, or both. He has a "pending action" with the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners.




Randy Day, a board of medical examiners investigator, said although Ross cannot lose his medical license solely on the basis of his conviction, the medical board will conduct its own investigation to determine his future licensure.




But separate from Ross' tax-related issues, the Board of Medical Examiners is seeking disciplinary action against Ross for "unprofessional or dishonorable conduct."




The February complaint stems from his alleged treatment of four patients with photophoresis treatments, "in a manner and for purposes that lacked an adequate basis in medical science."




Also, in one of the instances, he subjected a woman identified only as Patient A to an "undue risk of harm" by allegedly treating her with progesterone and estrogen despite her history of having an estrogen-sensitive breast tumor.




In the case of Patient D, a 79-year-old woman, Ross allegedly treated her with thyroid medication despite tests that revealed a normal thyroid function, the complaint says.




Moreover, the state contends that while Ross is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, he lists his specialty as preventative medicine, yet he is not certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.




writes for the Ashland Daily Tidings. He can be reached at csrizo@hotmail.com.