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Press Release

St. Charles County Business Owner Sentenced to Prison for Failing to Pay $3.4 Million in Taxes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS –A business owner from St. Charles County, Missouri on Thursday was sentenced Tuesday to 21 months in federal prison for using employees’ tax money for college tuition and mortgage payments on two houses.

U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Clark also ordered Jeffrey M. Bauza, 55, of Weldon Spring to pay back $1.4 million that he still owes in taxes.

Bauza owned the truck driving schools CDL Training Service & Consulting and CDL Training Services of Missouri at the time of the crime. Bauza was required by law to withhold income, Social Security and Medicare taxes from employee wages before turning them over to the Internal Revenue Service and file quarterly employment tax returns. He willfully failed to do so from 2012-2019.

Instead, he used part of the $2.3 million in income, Social Security and Medicare taxes that he’d withheld from his employees’ paychecks for college tuition for one of his children and for mortgage payments on his home as well as 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 in November to one count of willful failure to collect or pay tax.

IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gwendolyn Carroll is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 17, 2023