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PRESS RELEASE: Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down Florida Tax Return Preparers and Owner of “Tax MD” Tax Preparation Business

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 15, 2016

Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down Florida Tax Return Preparers and Owner of “Tax MD” Tax Preparation Business

Businesses Allegedly Prepare Fraudulent Tax Returns While Charging Customers Undisclosed, Unconscionable Fees

The United States filed a civil injunction suit seeking to bar Patrick Clarke of Hallandale Beach, Florida, and Ruby Rodriguez of Orlando, Florida, from owning, operating, or franchising a tax return preparation business and preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.

The complaint also requests that the court order Clarke and Rodriguez to disgorge the fees that they obtained through the alleged fraudulent tax return preparation. According to the complaint, Clarke owns and operates Tax MD, a tax return preparation business with stores in Florida and North Carolina. Rodriguez allegedly manages one of Clarke’s stores located in Orlando.

According to the complaint, Clarke’s preparers, including Rodriguez, target primarily low to moderate income customers with misleading advertisements, prepare and file fraudulent tax returns to improperly increase their customers’ refunds and profit through unconscionable, exorbitant and often undisclosed fees—all at the expense of their customers and the U.S. Treasury.

The complaint alleges that Clarke’s preparers, including Rodriguez, engage in fraudulent activity, including:

Falsely claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit;
Claiming improper filing status (i.e. head of household for married individuals);
Fabricating businesses and related business income and expenses;
Fabricating Schedule A deductions, including for unreimbursed employee business expenses; and
Charging deceptive and unconscionable fees
According to the complaint, Clarke was previously a franchisee of LBS Tax Services. This is one of 10 lawsuits that the Justice Department has filed in Florida against former LBS franchisees or related individuals, including Walner Gachette, Douglas Mesadieu, Jean Demesmin, Kerny Pierre-Louis, Demetrius Scott, Jason Stinson, Wilfrid Antoine, Tonya Chambers, Jehoakim Victor, Lauri Rodriguez, Milot Odne, Christopher Lawrence and Kenneth Aikens.

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Most of the information you will see comes from some Federal/state Government documents or Federal/State Governm Agency. -----------------------------------------------The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can't make anybody believe that he has it. ~~~~Will Rogers __The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.~ Albert Einstein ~"I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understandingsharpen​ed, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. _________________________________________________________________________________________ ~"The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment".~___________________________________ George Washington, Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of Ireland, December 2, 1783 Fredericacade@gmail.com

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