Michael Anthony Vigil, the owner of Salt Lake Valley Protective Agency pled guilty to a number of charges involving the withholding of money from the State or his own employees. Mr. Vigil’s guilty plea comes even after he had fiercely defended his company’s track record. In response to a warning issued against his company in 2009, Mr. Vigil wrote:
Our employees are our true strenghts (sic) … (The claim that) people are jumping ship left and right … is absolutely not true. We have maintained most of our current staff for well over one year (remarkable for the security industry), and the key players have been the same since our conception … If anyone … wants to know the truth about Salt Lake Valley Protective Agency, and our operations, please come on by our office,” he wrote. “We have nothing to hide, and would love to show you what we mean when we say ‘Redefining Professionalism’ (the company motto).
According to a recent news report, Mr. Vigil as part of his guilty plea, has agreed to pay back his former employees $101,847 in unpaid wages and the State over $215,000 in tax withholdings he never paid.
The Attorney General’s Office alleged that Mr. Vigil’s company, Salt Lake Valley Protective Agency, engaged in a pattern or unlawful conduct whereby the company would issue paychecks to employees without properly funding that account from which the checks were to be cashed. In most instances the employees simply quit because he or she wasn’t receiving a paycheck, and in response Mr. Vigil would just hire new employees and start the scheme all over again.
At trial, the State presented evidence that over 70 of Mr. Vigil’s employees of former employees had received partial or no pay at all during the time they worked for Mr. Vigil. According to the State, Mr. Vigil also failed to timely pay tax returns and didn’t accurately account for tax returns for employee wages from 2006 through 2010. Upon this evidence, Mr. Vigil accepted the State’s plea deal, and was subsequently sentenced for ailing 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. However, in order to get Mr. Vigil to accept the plea, the State agreed to dismiss four counts of failing to render a proper tax return against Mr. Vigil.