Prosecutors yesterday unveiled a federal grand jury indictment against staffing magnate Luis E. Perez alleging he actively evaded nearly $30 million in payroll taxes and penalties owed to the Internal Revenue Service. Perez is the owner of BaronHR and also ran Checkmate Staffing, Staffaide and Fortress Holding Group.
Perez allegedly failed to remit payroll taxes, including the so-called “trust fund taxes” withheld from employees’ paychecks, for seven years – 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. When the IRS went to collect, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California says he spent nearly ten years hiding his assets to avoid the unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties.
The indictment alleges that Perez purchased luxury cars and boats for his personal use with funds from BaronHR and Fortress bank accounts to hide the assets. The purchases included a $135,000 Ferrari 360 Spider F, a $224,000 Rolls Royce Phantom and a $340,000 Lamborghini Aventador. Federal prosecutors also allege that Perez underreported his income and made other false statements to the IRS to thwart its collection attempts.
Perez is expected to be arraigned in federal court later this month on the one count of felony tax evasion. The indictment includes allegations of wrong-doing, but at this time they are still unproven in a court of law.
Last year, the Orange County District Attorney filed charges against Perez and two associations alleging workers’ comp fraud and tax fraud for allegedly failing to report wages to the Employment Development Department, withhold payroll taxes or pay employment taxes for 36 workers. For past coverage, see BaronHR Staffing Busted.
For a copy of the federal indictment, click here.