California staffing agency owner, Luis Perez, has been charged with tax evasion for failure to pay almost 30 million dollars in wages he withheld from employee paychecks. Perez, the owner of four staffing agencies, deducted the taxes from his employees’ paychecks but failed to send money to the IRS. These ‘trust fund taxes’ include income taxes and FICA taxes that go to Social Security and Medicare. Perez failed to pay the taxes for seven years and the money he owes includes interest and the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty.
The IRS came to collect in 2007 but Perez evaded them for nearly ten years by concealing the purchase of luxury items, including several cars and a boat. He did this by placing the ownership titles in the names of other individuals or his companies. His purchases included a Ferrari, a Rolls Royce Phantom and a Lamborghini Aventador.
Perez is also accused of underreporting his income and making other false statements to the IRS in order to continue evading their collections.
This is not the first time Perez has been in trouble. Last year the Orange County District Attorney filed charges against Perez and two co-workers for workers comp fraud for failing to report wages to the Employment Development Department, withhold payroll taxes or pay employment taxes for 36 employees.
If he is convicted on the tax evasion charges Perez could see up to five years in federal prison.