DOJ seeks to shut down local tax return preparation business, owner claims he's being targeted

Posted at 6:51 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 18:51:19-04

Vannak Long, owner of Tax R Us offices in the Detroit area, says he's done nothing wrong despite a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice seeking to shut his business down and permanently ban him from preparing tax returns for others.

Federal investigators are also seeking to ban several of Long's former employees from preparing tax returns.

Government officials say Rosalina Warnock, Jasmine Jackson and her sister Mary Jackson have all pleaded guilty to tax fraud crimes committed while they worked for Long.

It's estimated that the fraud cost just over $3 million in "harm to the United States."

Long told 7 Action News that he believes the government is targeting him because he's a minority. Long says he's one of only a few Asian tax preparers.

Right now, Long has not been charged with any crime, but federal investigators say it was "with Long's knowledge and active participation, Tax R Us preparers engaged in continuous and systematic schemes to defraud the government."

According to the civil lawsuit filed Wednesday by the government, Tax R Us "unlawfully understates its customers' income tax liabilities and overstates refunds by making deliberate misstatements on the returns."

Federal investigators are also asking that the court order Long, Warnock, and the Jackson sisters to each turn over a list of all tax returns they have prepared.