Companies whose taxes have not been paid when the paymaster has apparently left the country will cover part of their losses.
Melissa and Robert Meltzer in their My Fitness Fitness franchise in Los Angeles. Melissa Meltzer stated that she had been at LA Payroll for six or seven years and that the government had declared that her taxes had not been paid for the third quarter. Payments for the fourth quarter were also not made. Overall, the activity is about $ 55,000, she said.
Dozens of small businesses burned by payroll fraud received good news last week, when an insurance company said it would cover $ 3 million of their total losses.
“We will not get all our money back, but at least we seem to get a lot of it,” said Melissa Meltzer, owner of a Los Angeles children’s fitness franchise with her husband, Robert, who lost about $ 55,000.
The Meltzers are among some 150 restaurateurs, dentists, hairdressers and other specialists in Southern California who learned at Christmas that the money deposited with LA Payroll for state and federal taxes was gone.
Businesses did not receive the money lost following a series of late releases by the Internal Revenue Service and the Post-Tax State Development Department in the third and fourth quarters.
According to police reports, court records and interviews, individual losses ranged from hundreds of dollars to more than $ 350,000, in addition to fines and interest. The former LA Payroll employee – a private company whose only office on Wilshire Boulevard is now closed – suffered losses estimated at $ 4 million.
They said that Grigoryan, 56, had told them he was going to Palm Springs for the holidays and that he would never come back. Last month, two members of Grigoryan’s family told the Times that they knew nothing about the missing money, but left for Armenia or Russia.
He could not be reached for a comment.
Many business owners had little hope of getting money after filing complaints with the police, the IRS and the FBI, as well as claims with the Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. a. Policy.
Los Angeles police referred the case to the FBI for investigating a letter from a Los Angeles police detective to one of the company’s owners. The FBI will not confirm or deny it when he finds out, a spokeswoman said.
At the end of last week, insurance company lawyers said 93 companies said they would ask a Los Angeles federal court to allocate between them and all the other three million dollars in revenue.
Claims so far have reached $ 2.9 million, according to March 14 legal letters, but could increase if other losses were documented.
If claims increase, payments will decrease proportionately. For example, lawyers have found that if $ 4 million is claimed and $ 3 million is available, the insurance company will recommend that applicants pay 75% of their tax and interest rate obligations. But they pointed out that it was up to the court to decide who would receive the amount.
“Philadelphia will not suggest that candidates receive additional money, be it fines, penalties, costs or legal fees, or in other forms,” the letter said.
Babak Dardashti, a dentist in Los Angeles who lost about $ 20,000, said Monday that he was cautiously optimistic that he would get a fair share of the court. But he said he would believe it when he saw it.
“This is good news,” he said. “But we still hold our breath.”