US Attorney – Operator of Sonrise Medical Clinic Indicted on Tax Evasion, Witness Tampering, and Fraud Charges

Los Angeles – This morning, in United States District Court in Los Angeles, the operator of Sonrise Medical Clinic and Christine Daniel, M.D., Inc., in Mission Hills, was arraigned on tax evasion, wire fraud, mail fraud, witness tampering, and criminal forfeiture charges detailed in a superseding indictment returned earlier this month.

Christine Daniel, of Los Angeles, a medical doctor and ordained minister for the Pentecostal Church, pleaded not guilty to the charges specified in the superseding indictment.

For the tax years 2002, 2003, and 2004, the indictment alleges that Daniel failed to report approximately $1,290,613 on the corporate income tax returns for Christine Daniel, M.D., Inc., resulting in a tax loss to the government of $438,809. Similarly, the indictment alleges that Daniel failed to report approximately $315,109 on her personal income tax returns for the same time period, resulting in a tax loss to the government of $73,895.

Daniel was previously indicted in September 2009 on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, and criminal forfeiture stemming from a scheme to defraud in which Daniel promoted an herbal product that Daniel, and her employees, working a her direction, falsely claimed that it would cure many human diseases and conditions. These diseases and conditions included cancer, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, and hepatitis. According to the indictment, Daniel claimed that the herbal product had a cancer cure rate of 60% to 80%.

The herbal products were promoted under a variety of names, including “C-Extract”, “the natural treatment”, and “the herbal treatment”.

The indictment details that Daniel falsely claimed she personally manufactured the herbal product according to the needs of each individual patient. Depending upon the purported strength of the herbal product, Daniel charged her customers between $750 and $4,270 for approximately one week’s worth of the product.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that Daniel tampered with three witnesses who were to testify before the grand jury.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.

If convicted of all the charges detailed in the indictment, Daniel faces a statutory maximum 130 years in federal prison and fines totaling $2.1 million. Currently, trial in this matter is scheduled for June 29, 2010, before United States District Judge Margaret M. Morrow.

The investigation of Daniel was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Medical Board of California in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

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