O’FALLON, Mo. – For nearly a decade, federal prosecutors say a fraud suspect worked with three license office workers to forge documents and cheat taxpayers.
The FOX Files recently visited the main suspect’s O’Fallon workplace and one of the St. Charles County license offices potentially impacted in our attempt to get answers.
Court records say the suspects were affiliated with DMV offices in four counties and allegedly used unwitting drivers to pocket taxpayer money.
Federal documents reveal examples of Venmo payments from suspect Gary Wilds to license office employee Ashlyn Graeff to help with an alleged fraud scheme.
Wilds, who pleaded not guilty Tuesday, operates an O’Fallon business. He was not available to comment when the FOX Files went inside to ask.
Graeff worked at the St. Charles License Office on Raymond Drive. No one would comment there either.
The federal indictment reads, “For a fee and in exchange for unidentified favors, defendant Gary Wilds assisted Missouri residents in obtaining motor vehicle registrations and renewals through (DMV) contract offices.”
In some cases, federal prosecutors say Wilds would come to the DMV on their behalf to save them time from having to deal with possible long lines.
Prosecutor Tracy Berry said, “There are legitimate individuals who are paying $50 for someone to stand in line at the contract licensing office for them. That is completely appropriate, as long as they pay what is assessed to the State of Missouri.”
The federal indictment shows alleged fraudulent filings by suspect Wilds, with the help of two other DMV workers, now suspects Michelle Boyer and Megan Leone. The filings were allegedly to evade paying those required taxes. Prosecutors say the drivers did not know they were being used.
Prosecutor Berry added, “They thought they were paying him maybe $50 for that service to stand in line for them. Instead, they gave him $3,000, $4,000, whatever he told them those tax figures were and then instead of remitting them when he registered their vehicles, we alleged he pocketed it.”
Berry says the Department of Revenue sent letters to the drivers demanding the back taxes and penalties. The FOX Files has asked D.O.R. why it’s not going after the suspects instead. We’re still awaiting an answer.
Correction: This story has been modified since it first aired. The original story included video of a business not associated with the federal indictment.