BATON ROUGE – The owner of an auto dealership and repair business is behind bars for tax fraud and failing to provide unemployment insurance for his employees.
Investigators believe Fares Khalad Ahmad Alsalameh falsely classified his regular workers as contract workers, according to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
The employees were observed over several days performing the same activities as regular workers at Fares Motor Company and Factory Engine Exchange on Florida Boulevard in Baton Rouge.
According to the arrest warrant, “it was clear that these workers all came in at the same time each day, had lunch similarly and left for the day at the same time consistently. One worker even opened the businesses each day with a key and opened auto bays in preparation for service to the public.”
Employees told investigators that they work for Alsalameh, receive payment in cash or check, and have never signed an employment contract or entered into an oral agreement regarding their employment, according to the Department of Revenue.
Alsalameh also failed to open a withholding tax account for the business, and did not arrange for unemployment insurance through the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
He was arrested and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for failing to account for state tax monies, criminal penalty for evasion of tax and willful failure to provide worker’s compensation insurance, according to the Department of Revenue.