NC payroll company operators indicted in fraud

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The operators of a North Carolina third-party payroll company have been indicted after federal prosecutors say they took more than $11 million from their clients and used it for themselves.

A statement from the U.S. Attorney's office in Charlotte says 43-year-old James William Staz of Iron Station and his father, 72-year-old William James Staz of Huntersville, are named in a 10-count indictment. The two are charged with wire fraud, and James Staz is also charged with nine counts of money laundering.

The men formed Employee in Cornelius in 2004.

U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said Tuesday that from about 2008 to March 2014, the defendants defrauded at least 113 clients of money intended for payroll and employment tax payments. Court records show James Staz used the money to pay for alcohol, strip club entertainment and a luxury home.

James Staz had his initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate Tuesday and will remain in custody pending his arraignment and detention hearing, which have been scheduled for Friday. William Staz will be ordered to appear on a summons.

A recording said the phone number for the business was disconnected, and telephone numbers for the two men couldn't be found.