Late yesterday, Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03) and Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) met with a senior Justice Department official to follow up on their February 7, 2012 letter to Attorney General Eric H Holder, Jr., requesting his office's assistance in addressing the problems their constituents are having with the Mo Money tax preparation firm.
In late January of this year, both members' Congressional offices began to receive complaints from constituents regarding Mo Money. Complaints alleged:
* bounced checks issued by Mo Money for tax refunds;
* failure by Mo Money to provide refunds the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had sent it for constituents who had filed their taxes through the company; and
* excessive fees deducted by the company from refunds, and other problems.
Despite complaints to the IRS, state and local law enforcement, and other government offices, these problems remain unresolved.
"We were assured by the Justice Department that they take these reports seriously and have conveyed our constituents' concerns to officials at the other appropriate government agencies such as the IRS, the recently established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the FBI, and the Federal Trade Commission," said Congressman Scott. "While we are anxious to see immediate recovery for our constituents of the money they are owed, we understand that issues of possibly criminal, as well as, civil liability will take some time to sort out. In the meantime, we have been assured that the federal agencies will do everything in their power to assure that those citizens victimized are made whole and that there are no more victims."
"There is no room in Memphis or anywhere else in our country for tax scams that prey on the poor and middle class," said Congressman Cohen. "The U.S. Department of Justice has assured us that they take the complaints circulating throughout Memphis about possible scams and delayed tax refund returns seriously and have shared the information we provided with the relevant government agencies. While the investigation will take some time, I have the utmost faith in the Department of Justice, the IRS, and the other federal agencies. In the meantime, I urge citizens to visit the IRS' website at www.irs.gov to learn about the IRS Free File service or to get a list of IRS-approved Free File companies. These are tough economic times and citizens should be diligent about how they file their tax returns and who they trust to help them."