KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. — Federal charges have been filed against a business owner known in Kings Mountain as the “medicine man.”
Investigators said Reuben Dehaan runs two businesses out of his home: “Get Well Stay Well” and “Health Care Ministries International.”
Dehaan claims that because he is a minister, he does not have to pay income tax.
Investigators said Dehaan has not voluntarily filed an income tax return for himself or his business since 1997, except for frivolous returns covering the years 2005 and 2006.
The investigation included extensive undercover work by the IRS.
Dehaan has earned more than $2.7 million in gross receipts from his natural healing business from 2008 and 2014, according to the charges.
He has been charged with tax evasion and attempting to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws.
Investigators said Dehaan constructed an extensive underground root cellar at his home that included a grow operation for herbal products that he sold to clients.
Federal officials said he didn't think he needed a permit.
Investigators said that when they sent Dehaan a letter about failing to file tax returns, he sent a letter back proposing fees against the IRS.
Dehaan is not licensed by the state of North Carolina and not recognized by the North Carolina Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
"This is defrauding the public," Dr. Susan DeLaney, with the NCANP, said.
She said holistic medicine is unregulated.
Dehaan's website does not say where he was trained and Delaney said anyone can take an online course and claim to be a doctor.
"I mean really, would you go to see a mail order dentist," Delaney said.
DeLaney said she has never known a holistic operator to make as much money as Dehaan has earned.
Dehaan was appointed an attorney Friday and next week he faces a judge in federal for the first time on the charges against him.
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