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Lawrence woman, Atkins diet co-author sentenced to 41 months

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas obesity specialist who co-authored the “Atkins Diabetes Revolution” has been sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison for tax evasion.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Friday that 62-year-old Mary Vernon of Lawrence also was ordered Thursday to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution. Vernon was convicted earlier of five counts of tax evasion.

The “Atkins Diabetes Revolution” was published in 2004, a year after the death of weight loss expert Dr. Robert Atkins. Prosecutors said she earned nearly $800,000 for services to Atkins’ companies from 2003 to 2008.

Vernon also practiced medicine in Lawrence and Shawnee, and served as a medical director for nursing homes. Later, she directed a southwest Kansas emergency room.

Prosecutors said she evaded incomes taxes from 2004 to 2008.