COVINGTON – A group of employers filed suit against a Louisiana payroll corporation and its president for allegedly pocketing payments intended to cover payroll and employment taxes.
Employers of 208 Bourbon LLC, 407 Bourbon LLC, 426 Bourbon LLC, 501-A Bourbon LLC, 501-B Bourbon LLC, 516 Bourbon LLC, 409 Decatur LLC, 617 Decatur LLC, 5131 Lapalco LLC, 441 Royal LLC, Chartres House LLC, Pierre Masperos LLC, Ammari of Louisiana Ltd., Canal Management Group Inc., ES&A Inc. and Trattoria Paesano Inc. filed suit against Gulf State Management Services, Argent Payroll and Glen Villalobos in the 22nd Judicial District Court.
According to the petition, the plaintiffs hired defendant Gulf State Management Services and Argent Payroll, of which Glen Villalobos presides over, to prepare, file, and pay each entities’ employment and payroll tax returns.
Plaintiffs allege that the defendant failed to provide up to 22 unemployment and payroll tax payments to governmental entities. The lawsuit accuses Villalobos of ignoring the numerous notices of deficiencies that the plaintiffs allegedly forwarded to him. Plaintiffs contend that Villalobos eventually assured them that the corporation was resolving the issue. The plaintiffs claim the defendant provided them with a copy of a canceled check made out to the Louisiana Office of Employment Security (LDOES) in order to prove that it was handling the issue; however, LDOES issued a statement declaring its belief that the payment was “fraudulent” based on records provided by Chase Bank, the suit says.
Defendants are accused of failing to make required payroll and unemployment tax payments, and of pocketing the funds for individual purposes and uses.
Plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of damages, including penalties incurred by various taxing authorities and governmental agencies ($149,000 to one individual company alone), collection actions brought by Louisiana and the IRS, legal fees, and damages to their banking and financial relationships.
The plaintiff is represented by Marcus L. Guisti and Steven M. Hannan of Metarie-based Hannan, Giusti & Hannan LLP.
The case has been assigned to Division H Judge Allison H. Penzato.
Case no. 2014-11949.