Business owner sentenced for $3 million fraud
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The owner of a suburban St. Louis payroll services company has been sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay $3 million in restitution for taking money from clients.
A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced 48-year-old Bradley Ferguson of Washington, Missouri, on mail fraud and money laundering charges. He pleaded guilty in August.
Ferguson owned Fenton-based Paymaster Business Solutions Inc. Authorities say Ferguson withdrew money from clients' banks accounts allegedly to pay their federal, state and local taxes, but didn't pay those debts.
He then withdrew more than $2.7 million from client accounts in 2013 in an attempt to cover the tax payments after IRS inquiries.
The U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis says clients included churches, youth organizations, child daycare facilities, law firms, and other businesses.