On Tuesday, March 27, 2018, it was announced that the Justice Department had filed a lawsuit in an attempt to shut down a St. Louis, Missouri tax preparation business. The mother-daughter tax return preparer team is accused or preparing false federal income tax returns for their customers. The suit is asking the court to permanently bar Cherlynn Harrington, Linda McClendon and their business Goodlink, which is doing business as Goodlink Tax Services, from preparing federal income tax returns for others.
The complaint accuses the defendants of unlawfully understating their customers’ income tax liabilities and overstating their customers’ refunds. The complaint alleges that the defendants fabricate income and/or expenses in order to improperly claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. They sometimes charge their customers more than $1,500 to prepare these false returns. In some cases, Harrington made unauthorized withdrawals from debit cards, which had been loaded with the customers’ false tax refunds.
Additional details have been made available here.