ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - A south St. Louis County business owner says the company she contracts with to handle her payroll and taxes took her money and ran.
Paymaster Employer Services in Fenton handles payroll, H-R, taxes, and more for its clients. We found out Friday that there are at least five companies that use Paymaster who claim the company took the tax money out of their accounts and closed down without paying those bills.
Molly Hunter says she's out of thousands of dollars because the company took the money from her account, and shut down without paying her taxes. And she hasn't been able to track down the owner.
"It's his responsibility to pay those taxes on my behalf. What he has done, so far that i can see, is take out money and not pay my taxes," Hunter says.
She owns PS Kids, a company that offers physical, occupational, and speech therapy for children. For the last six years, she's contracted Paymaster Employer Services of Fenton. She says when she called this week to make a change to her payroll, the office number was disconnected.
"...And in my office I had also faxed over a couple of notices that I had gotten from the city regarding late tax payments. So with a disconnected phone number and these notices I had been getting I was concerned."
So she drove over and saw it was closed.
"Whatever payments he took out for that last quarter that weren't made, I'll be responsible for paying those."
We went by Friday to see if we could find anyone at the business. But it was still dark. We called the home number for the owner, Bradley Ferguson, and it was disconnected.
"The company has a F-grade with the Better Business Bureau," says BBB Vice President for Communications Chris Thetford.
Thetford says the BBB sent a complaint to Paymaster and got no response, leading to the F-grade. And it's gotten two complaints about Paymaster just like Hunter's in the last month.
"If you're a client of this company, what you need to do is reach out to the various tax collection agencies that you would be dealing with for your employees to see whether or not your tax obligations have been taken care of by this company," he says.
Hunter tells us she chose PayMaster after a recommendation from a friend. She says she now knows to get more information before making a business decision like this and to check with the Better Business Bureau.