Monday, March 9, 2015

North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $11 Million In Payroll Tax Fraud Scheme - Lived Lavishly

From WSOCTV on 3/5/2015:

An Iron Station man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday on charges he bilked $11 million from clients and used it to fund a lavish lifestyle, including strip club visits and three-tiered pools.

James Staz, 44, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion as part of a plea agreement. A superseding indictment filed in court charged him with 16 counts.

James Staz and his father, William Staz, operated payroll company and provided several duties for clients, including collecting and paying employment taxes, investigators said.

Court documents allege the company collected $11 million to be used for federal and state employment taxes, but in reality it went toward James Staz and Williams Staz's lifestyles.

The executive director of one of the victim companies, The Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project, said the first realized something was wrong in early 2014.

"We received a phone call from an IRS agent asking us where our most recent tax withholdings check was," said Mike Mathers, executive director for the company. The nonprofit helps children with disabilities.

"Employee Services took care of (our tax withholdings) and apparently that was the beginning of (Employee Services) not taking care of it," Mathers said.

James Staz on a single day "spent a total of $38,880 at strip clubs and night clubs," the indictment indicated.

Investigators want the pair to pay for their alleged financial crimes.

The father and son's company once had around "500 client companies located in North Carolina" and other states, according to the indictment.

James Staz could face up to 20 years in prison.

No comments: