The U.S. Justice Department is going to court in an effort to close a tax preparation company called Instant Tax Service and its offices in Indianapolis and four other cities, accusing franchisees of preparing fraudulent tax returns to maximize refunds and extract large tax preparation fees.
The lawsuits allege that ITS Financial LLC headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, and its owner deliberately ignored systematic and pervasive fraud by ITS franchisees.
The government estimates that the tax loss was $16 million in a single year for Instant Tax Service offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Indianapolis and Las Vegas where the lawsuits were filed.
ITS has 15 franchises in central Indiana, including 14 in Indianapolis and one in Anderson.
Over the past few years, the Justice Department says it has successfully criminally prosecuted four individual tax return preparers affiliated with ITS franchises in Ohio and Missouri.