Dr. Bruce Allan Hagadorn, a resident of Newport Beach and former chief of Staff at the now closed Irvine Regional Hospital, has paid restitution and back taxes related to fraud and tax evasion accusations.  The Orange County Register reports that Hagdorn “plead guilty to eight felony counts of willful failure to file tax returns, with sentencing enhancements for loss over $200,000, and aggravated white collar crime over $100,000.”

While the doctor will still spend a year in jail, his attorney likely obtained the most favorable result and saved his client from doing more jail time. While the financial penalties are harsh, they are restorative rather than punitive. Furthermore, had he not made a plea deal with the DA and he had been convicted of the most serious charges with the maximum penalties, the doctor may have spent at least a decade in jail if all of the most punitive sentences had been imposed. Defense attorneys may not always be able to protect their clients from prosecution but, often, even in the most challenging scenarios, a skilled defense attorney can significantly reduce the risk of the most damaging penalties.