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SLO business owner sentenced for failing to pay taxes

Posted at 5:23 PM, May 19, 2022

A San Luis Obispo business owner who pleaded guilty in 2019 to a federal charge of failing to pay employment taxes was sentenced on Thursday.

A U.S. District judge in Los Angeles sentenced John Silveria Villa, the owner of Villa Automotive, to five months in federal prison and two years of supervised release. Villa was also ordered to pay $424,501 in restitution.

The IRS says Villa failed to pay $489,551 in federal income taxes and Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes from his auto repair shop. Instead, federal investigators say he used the funds to pay creditors and to cover other business expenses.

Authorities say it took more than two years for sentencing to take place, in part, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a change in Villa's defense counsel.