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FTC Sues Firm Over Tax Relief Scam

American Tax Relief says it will "vigorously defend" itself

Wednesday, Oct 6, 2010  |  Updated 8:12 PM CDT
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The owners of a California-based tax relief company enjoyed a lavish lifestyle while bilking consumers out of $60 million, federal officials said Wednesday.

The owners of a California-based tax relief company enjoyed a lavish lifestyle while bilking consumers out of $60 million, federal officials said Wednesday.

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The owners of a California-based tax relief company enjoyed a lavish lifestyle while bilking consumers out of $60 million, federal officials said Wednesday.

In Chicago, the Federal Trade Commission announced a lawsuit against American Tax Relief for false claims.

David Vladeck of the FTC said defendants Alex Hahn and his wife, Joo Hyun Park, were living in a Beverly Hills home worth $3.4 million. In their garage was a Ferrari, two Porsches, two Mercedes Benzes, a Bentley and a Rolls Royce.

Among the victims are Chicagoans Tim and Darlene Fullerton.  Despite sending ATR nearly $2,800, the couple said the firm did nothing for them. 

Their experience wasn't unique, the FTC says, alleging that American Tax Relief cashed checks but never approached the Internal Revenue Service.

"I was on a one-woman crusade to take them down," said Darlene Fullerton.

An attorney for the firm said the lawsuit focuses on a "small handful" of complaints from consumers.

Los Angeles attorney Chuck Kreindler says any business has some dissatisfied customers. He says American Tax Relief has helped many people settle with the Internal Revenue Service on their back taxes.

Kreindler says the company "will vigorously defend" against the FTC action.
 

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