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Rapid City surgeon on trial for alleged tax evasion

RAPID CITY (AP) -- A Rapid City surgeon accused of income tax evasion is on trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Koliner told jurors in his opening statement in federal court Tuesday that the case is simple -- Edward Picardi "made a heck of a lot of money and didn't want to pay his taxes." Koliner said Picardi owes more than $1 million in back taxes.

Defense attorney Jennifer Culotta said the government has worked on the case for more than 10 years to "fit square pegs into round holes to fit their philosophy." She said it is not illegal for someone to try to "minimize" their taxes.

The media reports that the trial is scheduled to last as long as six weeks.