Parking Operator goes Down – May do Hard Time…


Parking Operator goes Down – May do Hard Time…

A parking operator in Los Angeles has been convicted on nearly 300 criminal counts of tax evasion (not paying taxes on his parking operations) and could get up to 150 years in prison if the judge is so inclined. Read all about it here.

This has been a long time in coming. It is the result of an ongoing audit done by and outside parking audit company on behest of the City of Los Angeles. I have been aware of the process for over five years. According to the LA DA, Sohrab Sahab and his Prestige Parking has been underreporting parking income and not paying the taxes due. This go, the number is $400,000 but it may be much higher. Last month the city reported that Prestige was the largest scofflaw in the city, owing $65 million in such tax. This court case was for only a small portion of that amount.

Who do I blame for this? The guilty, of course, but also the city of LA for letting this get so far out of hand. I also take a close look at our industry, for taking such a small role in policing itself. Where are the "friends of the court" briefs, filed by parking companies that have been scandalized by folks like Sahab? Where are the city council persons who have know about this problem but done nothing? Our lobbyists are quick to demand that parking taxes not be raised, but quiet when it comes to demanding that the law be enforced. Or maybe I just missed that news story.

I know that a number of legitimate parking companies that pay their taxes are put at a disadvantage by companies like this. By underreporting and not paying taxes, they can underbid and get locations and deals and then do a poor job and give our industry a bad name.

But I repeat myself.


  UPDATE:  I"m told that the company auditing the City of LA and initially responsible for getting the information the city needed in this case is Clyde Wilson's Parking Network out of Texas.

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John Van Horn

One Response

  1. Problem is, all parking companies will be painted with the same broad brush, as with past incidents. Now is the time for the Parking Associations to issue statements to the media with respect to legitimate operators and their contribution, enormous that it is, to the tax bases of many municipalities and their gratitude to the City of Los Angeles for rooting out the problem operators.

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