ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A St. Charles County man illegally used millions in employee tax dollars on several personal expenses, including tuition for one of his children and mortgage payments on two houses.
A federal judge sentenced Jeffrey Bauza, 55, of Weldon Spring, in the case on Tuesday. He was ordered to pay back $1.4 million he owed in taxes, though reportedly failed to pay around $3.4 million in taxes withheld from employees.
Bauza, who owned two truck driving schools in the St. Charles area, was required by law to withhold income, Social Security and Medicare taxes from employee wages before turning them over to the IRS. Investigators say he willfully failed to do so from 2012-2019.
Bauza reportedly used part of $2.3 million withheld from employee paychecks on college tuition, mortgage payments and a vacation home in Florida. He also failed to pay $1 million in employer contributions to the IRS.
“Mr. Bauza was aware of his payroll tax obligations. But instead of paying the funds he withheld from employee paychecks to the IRS, he used them to pay for his primary residence, a vacation home in Florida, a luxury vehicle, and private university tuition”, said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Thomas F. Murdock. “Cases such as this harm innocent taxpayers and CI’s special agents will aggressively pursue these criminals to detect and stop this type of fraud.”
Bauza pleaded guilty to one count of willful failure to collect or pay tax last year. He was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.