Ward Dean, M.D, Imprisoned for Income Tax Evasion

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

In December 2005, after a 3-day trial, a federal jury found Ward F. Dean, M.D., of Pensacola, Florida guilty of seven felony counts of evading income taxes and attempting to interfere with the administration of the Internal Revenue Code [1]. Immediately after the trial, the judge concluded that Dean was a flight risk and ordered him to remain in jail until sentencing took place [2].

According to the indictment, Dean had claimed no income for the years 1997 through 2002 even though he was paid approximately $1.3 million dollars and owed over $300,000 in taxes. The indictment also stated that after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began reviewing his failure to report income, Dean sent certified letters to financial institutions and others claiming the IRS summons were phony and threatening legal action if summons recipients disclosed his records to the IRS [3].

Dean is a West Point Graduate who served as a flight surgeon and retired in 1996 as a Navy Commander. His Web site states that in 1996 he encountered the theories of a leading "tax protestor" and concluded that the federal income tax was illegal [4]. As a result, from 1997 through 2002 he reported his income as zero even though he received a military pension and other consulting income.

Tax protestors typically harbor false beliefs that that they can single-handedly rebel against the tax system and avoid paying income taxes altogether [5]. Following the trial, two officials warned that the federal government does not look kindly at them.

In July 2006, Dean was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by six years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $7,500 fine, $4,000 for costs, and restitution to the IRS of approximately $291,000. His projected release date is January 11, 2012.

Dean's Web site describes him as "a world-renowned expert in the anti-aging and life extension." He has served on the board of directors of the American Aging Association and the founding board of directors of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Since 1996, he has been medical editor of Vitamin Research News and director of research and development for Vitamin Research Products, for whom he focused on "innovative nutritional and pharmacological protocols designed to delay aging and ameliorate age-related diseases." [7] The company's Web site contains many articles by Dean that make unsubstantiated claims and link to products whose ingredients are discussed in the articles.


  1. Pensacola physician/tax protestor convicted of tax evasion; incarceration ordered pending sentencing; failed to pay taxes on $1.3 million. Press release, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida, December 8, 2005.
  2. Order. USA v Ward Franklin Dean. In the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division. Case No. 3:05cr25/LAC, Dec 21, 2005.
  3. Indictment. USA v Ward Franklin Dean. In the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division. Case No. 3:05cr25/LAC, March 17, 2005.
  4. Why I don’t pay income taxes anymore. WardDeanMD.com Web site, accessed Dec 24, 2005.
  5. Anti-IRS theories a/k/a Tax protestor junk. Quatloos Web site, accessed Dec 24, 2005.
  6. Biographical sketch. WardDeanMD.com Web site, accessed Dec 24, 2005 and February 9, 2007.

This article was revised on February 9, 2007.

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