San Luis Obispo business owner sentenced to prison

May 20, 2022


A San Luis Obispo auto repair shop owner, who pleaded guilty in 2019 to a federal charge of failing to pay almost half a million to the Internal Revenue Service, was sentenced to federal prison on Thursday.

John Villa, the owner of Villa Automotive, pleaded guilty to in 2019 to one count of willful failure to pay his taxes. Villa admitted to not paying $489,551 in federal income taxes.

In part because of the pandemic, following Villa’s guilty plea, it took more than two years for his sentencing.

U.S. District Judge George H. Wu sentenced John Silveria Villa on Thursday to five months in prison, two years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $424,501 in restitution.

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Bummer for him because I know of a high powered man that lives off his son’s paycheck… that would be a gift in the eyes of the IRS and require a gift tax be paid but because he is a somebody not a nobody like Villa the IRS leaves him alone….

The IRS is making an example out of John. God help you if you ever get caught in the crosshairs of the IRS. What is sad is John has probably been dealing with the nightmare for years now. Nothing about this situation is funny and it could happen to anyone who owns a successful business. In the criminal justice system, you are innocent until you are proven guilty. With the IRS, you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent. Kicking someone when they are down and making fun of their talented son is egregious.

This guy was my football coach in high school… A crazy son of a gun who got fired for calling someones mom a milf. He also kicked a kid in the balls. That being said, I’m sad to see this happen to him. I wish him the best.

Are you sure Gary Villa was a teacher? The actions you described certainly don’t seem like something Gary would do though.

Does this mean I never have to hear his son singing on the radio again?

Whatever his problems were with the IRS, I know from personal experience that he never cheated a customer. Villa’s auto repair has always been the best in the County.

I know from personal experience that he has cheated many customers. i took my older truck in for a fluid leak. They said it was oil and ran up $1,700 in charges chasing the “oil leak”. When I got it back it leaked worse because the actual problem had gotten worse, they didn’t even look to check! I identified the leak as a transmission fluid cooling line, John agreed and offered to fix it for yet more money. I went to a mechanic literally up the street who said that he hears stories like this about Villa all the time and fixed it for $200 and apologized for the charge a little more than estimated because there was virtually no transmission fluid left. For $1,700 they didn’t look at the source of the leak or check the fluid levels. I have steered many people a way from Villa’s and will continue to do so.

Yup. Same here. Small leak in one steel freeze plug on my Cherokee, so I ordered all 6 freeze plugs be replaced with heavy brass. Villa’s only replaced the two front plugs that can be seen from above. 2 months later, and at the top of the Grade, “Boom!”, the two back plugs blow out. After towing it back to the shop, they gave me an estimate to repair! I showed my old receipt that said for all 6 to be replaced, and they argued with me that I did NOT order that, despite being clearly in the clerk’s handwriting! Now it took, nearly three weeks to get my truck back (for a simple afternoon job). I immediately took it to the “shop up the street” to confirm the work was done right, and John (owner of said shop) said they had to finish tapping in three of the plugs.

Wouldn’t go back to Villa’s on a dare. In contrast, I think Paul(?) runs the separate business of SLO Tow, and I could not be more pleased in the care of, and little charge for storage of my motorcycle went it went down. SLO Tow kept me updated with insurance inspections, and when it was picked up by Santa Maria Harley.

John! What happened to the unassuming honest kid I went to school with? Best wishes for a better future after this my friend.

I went to school with him too, but when I get ripped off for half of my hard-earned monthly income because I trusted him as a local he loses “local” status no matter how many radio ads he buys. You have to beg to get an appointment with my honest mechanic who has no need to advertise.

Isn’t it interesting how violent criminals are let out with little or no bail, or, given extremely light sentences or released long before completing a sentence. While on the other hand, if you are a worker, a job creator, there will be hell-to-pay if you cheat the government out of money. You can take a life or do bodily harm but boy oh boy, when it comes to the government’s money…

He stole half a million dollars and not just from the government, but from his employees. Granted, much of it would have ended up in the government’s hands, but those employees will not see any of that money in either tax returns or later as part of their social security pensions when they reach retirement age. Nor will they benefit from that income in their credit history, meaning they will pay higher interest rates for loans. In what world is what will amount to 3 to 3 1/2 month prison sentence for stealing $500K not a light sentence?

You are confused or just making stuff up. Cheating on your taxes has absolutely ZERO deleterious impact to employees compensation, unless of course he is forced to downsize or close his business as a result, or, if he is forced to reorganize under a court ordered restructuring. Other than that, ZERO, so best to not pontificate on a subject you know little about.

Here’s a case where I feel the guilty should not go to prison. Rather he should stay outside on probation so he can work off his debt to society plus suffer the shame of his transgression. Save the prisons for the violent or repeat offenders, there’s enough of those.

So going with your plan; in his future commercials he will refer to himself as a convicted felon and tax cheat while his son now sings Fulsom Prison Blues in the background instead of old show tunes?

Well played MrYan. Well played.

Hahahaha that’s messed up but funny!

Your suggestion is neither punishment nor deterrent.

I agree, my complaints notwithstanding prison is ridiculous for this. IRS audits and Bureau of Automotive Repair oversight are cheaper and more productive. But maybe he wants prison. 5 months in a Federal Country Club and done, back to “business”.

John, John, John, if you want to steal you have to go into politics. C’mon man!