FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
TDD (202) 514-1888
FEDERAL COURT BARS ALLEGED CO-OWNER OF LAS VEGAS INSTANT TAX SERVICE FRANCHISE FROM PREPARING TAX RETURNS
Company and Other Alleged Co-Owner Also Subject to Restrictions
WASHINGTON Ė A Nevada federal court has permanently barred Benyam Tewolde from preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. Tewolde and his wife, Yordanos Kidanits, are the alleged co-owners of an Instant Tax Service franchise that operates at multiple locations in the Las Vegas area. Instant Tax Service is a nationally franchised tax preparation company based in Dayton, Ohio.
Kidantis and the franchisee, Koraggio LLC, were also permanently enjoined from engaging in certain abusive practices. The civil injunction orders, to which the defendants consented without admitting the allegations against them, were signed on Dec. 27 by Judge Miranda M. Du of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.
According to the government complaint, the defendants helped employees at their Instant Tax Service franchise offices to engage in a variety of misconduct, including:
The complaint further alleged that Tewolde personally prepared fraudulent returns.
The injunction permanently bars Tewolde from preparing or filing federal tax returns for others, training tax preparers and owning or managing a tax preparation business.
Kidane and Koraggio are enjoined from violating the federal tax laws and consumer protection laws. The court order requires them to hire a monitor at their expense who will periodically report to the Justice Department to ensure compliance with the injunction. The order also bars Kidane and Koraggio from marketing abusive loan products, including holiday, or instant cash loan or advance products offered to customers based on information obtained from the customerís paystub.
The case is one of five similar lawsuits that the Justice Department brought against Instant Tax Service franchises earlier this year. One of those suits is pending against the nationwide franchisor of Instant Tax Service and its owner, Fesum Ogbazion, in Dayton. The court in that case has entered a preliminary injunction, and trial on the governmentís request to shut down the Instant Tax Service franchisor permanently is scheduled for next May.
In the past decade, the Justice Departmentís Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions to stop the promotion of tax-fraud schemes and the preparation of fraudulent returns. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Departmentís website.