ST. LOUIS – More than a hundred vehicle owners recently learned their license renewals are not legal. It’s not their fault, according to prosecutors who say they just dismantled a decade-long fraud scheme.
People who visited DMV offices in four counties may not be driving legally, even though they paid the appropriate fees.
An indictment out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, unsealed Tuesday, accuses four DMV contract workers of a fraud scheme that began in 2014.
Gary Wilds is accused of fraudulently registering motor vehicles, paying other DMV contract workers up to $100 for each fraudulent transaction, and using tax exemptions meant for businesses with large trucks.
“Our allegations are that he pocketed the sales taxes and led the individuals to believe that they were completely legal,” federal prosecutor Tracy Berry said.
“The state of Missouri has already sent out tax assessment letters to the individuals that have been identified. Approximately 100 to 150 individuals had received letters that they owed the taxes that were supposed to be paid on their behalf, as well as the interest and penalties.”
An unpleasant surprise, as well as the one Wilds’ received Tuesday when he was arrested. He pleaded not guilty in court.
Co-defendants were identified as Michelle Boyer, Megan Leone, and Ashlyn Graeff.
It was also alleged in court that Wilds threatened a witness who had been helping in the scheme. The prosecutor said Wilds showed up at their new workplace and that the witness’ tires were mysteriously slashed.
The court record does not say which license offices are affected but lists St. Louis, St. Charles, Warren, and Cole counties as locations.
Prosecutors are also still adding up the cost to taxpayers to determine what money, meant for our roads and schools, never made it to the government.