- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas obesity specialist who co-authored a book with the late Dr. Robert Atkins has been convicted of evading federal income taxes.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says that 61-year-old Dr. Mary C. Vernon, of Lawrence, was found guilty of five counts of tax evasion Friday by a federal jury in Kansas City, Kan.

Vernon practiced medicine in Lawrence and Shawnee. Prosecutors said she earned nearly $800,000 for services to Atkins‘ nutrition and weight-loss companies from 2003 to 2008.

She and Atkins co-wrote “Atkins Diabetes Revolution,” which was published in 2004. She also served as a medical director for nursing homes.

Prosecutors said Vernon avoided paying income taxes from 2004 through 2008. The conviction carries maximum penalties of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

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