Bruce Hedendal, D.C., Receives Prison Sentence for Tax Evasion

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
November 29, 2010

Bruce Eric Hedendal, D.C., who had fled from Florida after being indicted for tax evasion has been sentenced to prison for income tax evasion. Hedendal practiced for many years in Boca Raton, Florida and hosted a syndicated radio talk show that broadcast to a few stations and through the Internet. In August 2000, a federal grand jury in West Palm Beach charged him with income tax evasion for the years 1993 through 1995 [1] . After receiving a summons, Hedendal fled to Canada, Grenada, and ultimately to Brisbane, Australia, where he practiced under the names Erik Hedendahl and Park Road Holistic Centre and hosted another radio show.

The indictment stated that Hedendal had attempted to evade paying a total of about $180,000 in taxes on income of about $561,000 by failing to file returns and concealing his true income through the use of sham trusts, false entries on business records; and false representations to he Internal Revenue Service for the 3-year period [2]. At the detention hearing, the government stated that Hedendal purchased the trust arrangements from John Philip Ellis, Sr. a “tax protester” who created and promoted American Asset Protection (AAP) in West Palm Beach. Ellis claimed the trusts were “foreign” to the United States and tax-exempt, but testimony at his trial indicated that his business was based on contorted definitions and interpretations of the Internal Revenue Code and U.S. Constitution and that more than 150 customers throughout the United States had bought more than 360 trusts or trust packages costing upwards of $20,000 [3]. In 2002, Ellis was sentenced to 10-1/2 years in federal prison for obstructing justice and conspiring to defraud the United States, and eight associates received sentences ranging from probation to five years in prison.

According to a report in the Palm Beach Post:

  • In 2000, Hedendal moved to Durango, Colorado after a bitter and costly divorce in which he was ordered to pay his ex-wife $10,000 a month alimony and $4,000 a month support for four of their five children.
  • When summoned to face the tax evasion charges, he fled to Vancouver, British Columbia, then to the West Indies island of Grenada and finally to Brisbane. Court records show that he owed more than $100,000 [4].
  • When Australian police arrested him on a traffic offense in June 2003, they found he had false passports and identification cards showing him as a Canadian citizen named Ian Douglas Gillies. He was released in October, then arrested and held on a U.S. warrant until he was extradited.
  • The police have seized computer records showing that Hedendal had offshore accounts in Latvia, the Channel Islands and the Cayman Islands and at one time had assets of $400,000.
  • Hedendal also set up a trust named Alternatives to Medicine, with himself and his mother as trustees, and gave it 95% ownership of International Nutrition, a dietary-supplement business that he claimed had $2 million in sales in 2000.
  • With penalties and interest, he owes the U.S. Government $742,000 [4].

Hedendal graduated from New York Chiropractic College in the early 1970s. In 2001 and 2001, his Web site stated:

Dr. Bruce Hedendal is a graduate with Cum Laude honors from Harvard College, a licensed Chiropractor since 1974 and also holds a Ph.D. in Nutrition. More than two decades of research and practice have given him unique insights into the self-healing potential and ability of the human body.

His dedication to excel in athletics since his youth through current achievements as a leading International Masters Track and Field Athlete has been a major factor in his continued interest in the human body and the numerous nutritional advantages of utilizing natural supplements on a consistent basis.

Over the past twenty years, he has actively participated on a professional basis within numerous associations, societies and organizations related to his field of endeavor in order to advance his continued education and to share his knowledge and proven skills with his peers for the overall advancement of all fields related to nutrition and alternative medicine. During that period, he has become a member or diplomat to over a dozen local, national and international societies and organizations, as well as providing his services as a certified instructor for the International Craniopathic Society, Sacro Occipital Research Society and the International Systemic Health Organization.

Dr. Hedendal has also participated in an advisory capacity, as an expert in nutrition and alternative health care, to numerous publications an national organizations, including Health Advisory Monthly, Wellness Lifestyle Magazine and the Rheumatoid Disease Foundation. Many of these relationships were a result of hundreds of thousands of dedicated listeners nationwide who have been tuning in to his radio show,  Alternatives to Medicine, over the past eleven years.

Currently, Dr. Hedendal is the founder and director of  Alternatives to Medicine, Center For Natural Health Care in Boca Raton, Florida, where his specializes in Chiropractic, Accupressure, Craniopathy, Clinical Nutrition, Detoxification and Women’s Health. He is also an expert in the fields of Herbology and Homeopathy an dedicates much of his time to the research and development of cutting edge supplements such as his 2001 Formula, the most complete vitamin mineral and antioxidant multiple in the world [5].

The site also stated:

Alternatives to Medicine is both a center for Natural HealthCare and also the title of our special radio show that helps educate listeners about the latest natural healthcare options available in the fields of nutrition, homeopathy, anti-aging, chiropractic, accupressure, craniopathy, detoxification, hormone therapy, physiotherapy, herbology, sports medicine and women’s issues. . . .

Most importantly, one of the goals of this website, the HealthCare center and the radio show is to debunk the myth that you should turn over your body to a medical doctor who will “treat” you body by drugging it, cutting it or burning it. It is our belief that as long as you treat symptoms and not causes, you will turn individuals into pill-popping, surgery-ridden victims who will continue to manifest new illnesses until the basic causes are found. We treat the cause of the illness, thereby treating the whole person to enable the body to get healthy and stay healthy. This is the holistic approach that we stand for [6].

His clinic offered a “Nutritional Specific Test” (NUTRI-SPEC), which he said would “reveal the imbalances of your body as well as foods and supplements you need and those that you should avoid . . . . for your optimum health.” [7] I have looked closely at the NUTRI-SPEC system and consider it to be pseudoscientific nonsense [8].

Henendal’s now-defunct Australian Web site contained links that displayed hundreds of articles and identified Hedendal as the site’s editor. However, except for one page, the content was rented from Healthy Practices, a company that offers customized Web sites and electronic publications. His page stated that he offered the “best in holistic and chiropractic care for people of all ages; by providing personal ‘patient specific’ health services, advice and products for the drugless relief of symptoms as well as for optimum health and longevity.”

In July 2004, Hedendal pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and agreed to pay at least $718,000 in restitution. In October, he was ordered to pay that amount and was sentenced to three years of prison followed by three years of probation. He was released on May 15, 2006.

  1. United States of America v. Bruce E. Hedendal. U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, Case No. 00-8107.
  2. Fugitive and former Boa Radon chiropractor and nationally syndicated radio talk show host extradited from Australia to face tax charges. US Dept. of Justice news release, Feb 13, 2004.
  3. Promoter of “common law trusts” sentenced to 10 1/2 years. In FY 2002 Archive Significant Case Summaries—Abusive Tax Schemes, accessed Feb 26, 2004.
  4. McLachlin M. Ex-Boa chiropractor faces tax charge. Palm Beach Post, Feb 14, 2004.
  5. Bruce Eric Hedendal, D.C., F.I.C.S., D.A.A.P.M., Ph.D. Alternatives to Medicine Web site, archived April 6, 2001.
  6. Who we are. Alternatives to Medicine Web site, archived April 5, 2001.
  7. Alternatives to Medicine Center for Natural Health. Alternatives to Medicine Web site, archived April 5, 2001.
  8. Barrett S. NUTRI-SPEC testing is pseudoscientific nonsense. Chirobase, Oct 9, 2000.
  9. Cooper W. Ex-Boca radio host gets 3 years. Palm Beach Post, Oct 23, 2004.

This page was revised on November 29, 2010.