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Health Care Consultant Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Tax Evasion

Sonja Emery, according to Court Records, used aliases and addresses including “Sonja Lee Robinson,” “Sonjalee Emery-Robinson,” and “Sonjalee Emery,” residing in Georgia, New Jersey, New York, and California.  From 2011 through 2018, Emery falsely represented her professional status, educational background, and work experience to secure and maintain highly paid consulting positions in the health-care industry.

She falsely claimed to have:

  1. A nursing diploma from a school she never attended.
  2. She also falsely claimed to be a Registered Nurse licensed in New York, Georgia, Connecticut, and California
  3. Provided employers with licensure numbers that belonged to other people. In fact, she never was a Registered Nurse.
  4. Falsely told employers she had a
  5. Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
  6. Master of Health Administration,
  7. Master in Business Administration, and
  8. Doctor of Philosophy from Emory University and New York University, but Emery never attended those schools or received these degrees.

As a result of these lies from 2012 through 2018, Emery secured high-level health-care positions.  She worked as:

  1. Senior Vice President for an Ann Arbor, Michigan healthcare consulting firm earning an annual salary of approximately $285,000;
  2. Consultant for a community health system in Wisconsin earning approximately $267,000; and
  3. Health care consultant for a Massachusetts company that paid her approximately $226,000.
  4. From 2015 until her arrest in May of 2018, Emery worked as a senior executive for a county government health services agency in California that paid her a total of approximately $960,000.

Emery either did not file or late-filed tax returns, despite owing more than $400,000 in taxes.  She tried to avoid being detected by:

  1. Providing employers with different names and false social security numbers,
  2. Falsely instructing employers that she was “exempt” from taxes, and
  3. Supplying an employer with an identification number that did not belong to her.

Emery faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for mail fraud and five years in prison for tax evasion. Emery also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.


Michael Nelson

Michael has great depth of experiences and skills that evolved from over 35 years of representing international businesses, executives, expatriates and multi-national families. From these years of successful legal representations of CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies to family clients with needs from complex estate planning to international trusts and private foundations. He is committed to his clients, always finding better alternatives or options for his clients. Dedication to the client is synonymous with his name.