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Luis Enrique Perez, 49, owned and operated several temporary employee staffing companies. He lost his workers compensation insurance in July 2013, but continued to operate his businesses. Soon, Orange County prosecutors charged Perez and two other defendants with defrauding a workers’ compensation insurance company by misrepresenting uninsured injured workers as employees of a different company.

The defendants were accused of conspiring to fraudulently report 47 injured employees to American International Group, Inc. (AIG) to avoid liability for its employees who were injured at work, to hide failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance as mandated by law. As a result, AIG became liable for approximately $393,000 worth of expenses for claims of individuals not covered by their insurance policy.

Perez has now been named at the end of August in a federal grand jury indictment that charges him with tax evasion for failing to pay to the Internal Revenue Service nearly $30 million in payroll taxes, penalties and interest related to money that had been withheld from the salaries of employees of his various temporary worker companies.

Perez – who has maintained residences in Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda and Dove Canyon – is charged with one felony count of tax evasion in an indictment returned by a grand jury on August 28, 2019.

Perez’s companies – which include Checkmates Staffing Inc.; Staffaide Inc.; BaronHR, LLC; and Fortress Holding Group, LLC – were required to withhold taxes from employee wages and to pay the withheld amounts to the IRS on a periodic basis. These withheld taxes, sometimes known as “trust fund taxes,” include income taxes and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare.

The indictment alleges that for the tax years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010, Perez’s companies failed to pay the IRS the payroll taxes, including trust fund taxes that Perez’s companies withheld from employees’ paychecks. Beginning in June 2007, the IRS attempted to collect Perez’s outstanding tax liability, including penalties and interest. By February 2017, the outstanding balance had grown to $29,593,378, which included the unpaid taxes, interest and the “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty.”

The indictment alleges that Perez attempted to thwart the IRS’s collection efforts by purchasing luxury items – including numerous cars and a boat – and concealing his ownership by placing the titles of these items in the names of his businesses and other individuals. Those luxury items included a 2005 Ferrari 360 Spider F, a 2007 Rolls Royce Phantom, a Duffy D 22 Bay Island boat, a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS, a 2015 Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and a 2014 Lamborghini Aventador.