WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States has filed civil injunction suits against five corporations that operate Jackson Hewitt tax preparation franchises, as well as 24 individuals who manage or work at the franchises, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced April 2, 2007. According to the four lawsuits—filed in federal courts in Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Raleigh, N.C.—the corporations operate under franchise agreements with Jackson Hewitt Tax Services Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., the nation’s second largest tax preparation firm.
The suits allege that one of the individual defendants, Farrukh Sohail of Atlanta, Ga., wholly or partly owns each of the five corporations, which prepared and filed over 105,000 federal income tax returns last year. The five corporations allegedly operate more than 125 Jackson Hewitt retail tax preparation stores in the Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. areas.
According to the government complaint, Sohail and other defendants “created and fostered a business environment” at the Jackson Hewitt franchises “in which fraudulent tax return preparation is encouraged and flourishes.” Examples of fraud alleged in the lawsuits include filing false returns claiming refunds based on phony W-2 forms; using fabricated businesses and business expenses on returns to claim bogus deductions; claiming fuel tax credits in absurd amounts for customers clearly not entitled to any credits; and massive fraud related to claiming the federal earned income tax credit.
For the full Justice Department Press Release, click here.