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Newport doctor pleads guilty to evading taxes on $220,000 he was accused of embezzling

Dr. Bruce Hagadorn
Dr. Bruce Hagadorn
(Courtesy Orange County district attorney’s office)

A prominent Newport Beach doctor pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he evaded taxes on $220,000 he was accused of embezzling from a hospital fund earmarked for charity.

Immediately after the plea, an Orange County Superior Court judge sentenced Bruce Allan Hagadorn, 56, to a year in jail and three years’ probation, according to court records. He also was ordered to pay about $250,000 to the charitable fund and about $100,000 in back taxes.

Hagadorn will apply to serve his jail term under home confinement instead of behind bars, according to his lawyer.

Prosecutors accused Hagadorn of stealing the money from a charitable account run by the medical staff at Irvine Regional Hospital, where Hagadorn was chief of staff.

When the hospital closed in 2009, the medical staff voted to donate the money left in the account to another nonprofit, according to prosecutors.

Instead, authorities alleged, Hagadorn wrote checks from the fund to himself and his private practice, Canyon Pacific OB/GYN in Irvine.

Authorities also accused Hagadorn of dodging taxes on the stolen money by not reporting it on his personal or business tax returns.

Hagadorn pleaded guilty to eight tax evasion charges but did not admit to embezzlement, according to defense attorney Kate Corrigan.

A judge dismissed the single embezzlement count as part of a negotiated plea deal with the Orange County district attorney’s office, she said.

“Today’s conviction should send a clear message — tax cheating is not tolerated in the state of California,” said Tami Grimes, spokeswoman for the California Franchise Tax Board.

Corrigan said, “I think it’s a fair and just resolution and that it’ll enable him to get this behind him and continue to be productive in society.”

It’s unclear whether the guilty plea will affect Hagadorn’s medical license, which so far is in good standing, according to California Medical Board records.

“It’s our hope that he’ll be able to maintain his practice,” Corrigan said.


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