CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Tuesday sued tax preparer Mo’ Money for charging taxpayers at least $800,000 in hidden costs and fees, along with filing inaccurate tax returns.
Madigan’s suit seeks to shut down Mo’ Money locations in the Chicago area and East St. Louis and refund customers at least $800,000 in losses.
“Without customers’ permission, this company filed annual tax returns riddled errors and charged taxpayers exorbitant, undisclosed fees, but worst of all, it failed to provide consumers with their refund checks,” Madigan said. “While the promise of fast cash may be tempting, these heavily marketed refund services always end up costing taxpayers much more in the end.”
Madigan said the Memphis, Tennessee-based company advertised mostly to low-income taxpayers as a way to receive and spend refunds instantly.
“But Mo’ Money used these programs to automatically deduct hundreds of dollars in undisclosed fees before consumers ever received their refunds – as much as $700 per person,” the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.
The Attorney General also alleges Mo’ Money filed tax returns without consumers’ authorization, which in some cases were fraught with errors.
This is not the first time Mo’ Money has faced complaints.
In February, several St. Louis-area taxpayers said the company, also known as “Money Co. USA” promised them their tax refunds, but had yet to give any money back.
“I was supposed to receive my tax refund on the 30th of (January),” customer Albert Branch said in early February. “I called the IRS and they said they deposited my tax return.”
The company’s owner, Markey Grandberry, told KMOV’s sister station in Memphis at the time that there was a software glitch.
Madigan’s office said it has received at least 76 complaints against the company this year.
Madigan urged consumers who had tax returns processed by Mo’ Money to contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040, (800) 829-4059 TTD or visit www.irs.gov.