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Former business owner agrees to pay back over $300K after guilty plea

Former business owner agrees to pay back over $300K after guilty plea

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SALT LAKE CITY — A business owner who allegedly withheld hundreds of thousands of dollars from former employees and the state has pleaded guilty and will start paying that money back.

Michael Anthony Vigil entered a guilty plea on Thursday to a variety of charges, all involving withholding money from either the state or his employees, worded one way or another. He will pay former employees $101,847 and the state over $215,000 after penalties and interest.

According to the Office of the Attorney General, Vigil’s company, Salt Lake Valley Protective Agency, had a pattern where he would issue paychecks to employees without the funding in the account for them to be cashed. Eventually the employees would quit because of not receiving a paycheck, and he would hire new employees and start all over again.

During the trial, evidence was presented that over 70 employees received partial or no pay. Vigil also failed to pay timely tax returns and didn’t account for accurate tax returns for employee wages from 2006 to 2010.

During the sentencing Vigil faced victims that were present and apologized for his conduct.

Vigil was sentenced for the following crimes: failing to render a proper tax return, a third-degree felony; tax evasion — intent to evade; unlawful deal of property by a fiduciary; theft of services; and engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, the last four all second-degree felonies.

The state dismissed four counts of failing to render a proper tax return in exchange for Vigil's guilty plea.

Jarom Moore

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