Two Louisiana Women Sued for Tax Fraud Scam

The Department of Justice recently filed a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in an attempt to bar two women from preparing federal tax returns for others. The civil injunction, filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana, alleges that Cathy Vinnett, and her daughter, Lashanda Vinnett, both of Destrehan, La., prepared federal tax returns for their customers and claimed fraudulent tax refunds, … Read More

IRS ‘innocent spouse’ rules can be tough

When Valarie Stephenson tried to leave her husband in 2003, he put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her. She was so terrified that she remained in the marriage until 2007, when a friend — who noticed the bruises on her body — helped her escape to her mother's home in Phoenix. Stephenson then contacted an attorney and filed for divorce. After the divorce was finalized in 2008, Stephenson … Read More

Debt Collector Is Told It Can’t Use Facebook

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Florida judge has ordered a debt collection agency to not use Facebook or any other social media site in an attempt to locate a woman over a $362 unpaid car loan. Judge W. Douglas Baird also ordered Mark One Financial of Jacksonville, Fla., to refrain from contacting the woman's family or friends on Facebook. The order is part of a lawsuit that Melanie Beacham … Read More

Schemeing Debt Collection Defendant Pleads Guilty

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Darrian Jeffrey Summers, 40, of Taft, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud for his involvement in a scheme to defraud individuals and businesses by means of a phony debt collection scheme. According to the plea agreement, Summers was a salesman for Maxwell, Turner and Associates Inc. (MTA) in Bakersfield, … Read More