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Fraud investigation launched against former Toledo-area Jackson Hewitt employee

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 6:19 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - When Edmundo Rodriquez tried to file his 2020 taxes recently, he was told by the IRS that he’d already filed them. Then he heard from tax preparing company Jackson Hewitt. It’s a company he used several years ago but this year he wasn’t using them.

“The next day I woke up and I had an email from Jackson Hewitt saying that they’ve received my form and everything was sent through properly,” said Rodriquez.

Rodriquez was now a victim of identity theft. After a few calls to Jackson Hewitt and the IRS, he discovered someone had filed using his name. They had used a different address but included lots of his other personal information.

“It was crazy because I didn’t know if my information is going out, my kids information going out, my wife’s information is going out,” said Rodriquez.

That might only be the start of the problems. 13abc has obtained a report filed Monday with Toledo Police. It was made by a Jackson Hewitt employee saying a now-former employee fraudulently filed several tax returns in clients’ names. The report states 64 clients were affected and that about $17,000 was taken. So far, no one has been charged in connection to this report.

Rodriquez might be one of the 64. He’s already filed a fraud claim with the IRS and a new accurate return. But any refund and quite possibly any stimulus checks might all be on hold as he sorts through a mess he didn’t create.

“We’re trying to build a life and trying to start over and now I have to worry about this, everything being reset basically,” said Rodriquez.

Jackson Hewitt issued this statement to the 13abc I-Team:

“We recently became aware that a former employee of a Jackson Hewitt franchise location in Toledo, Ohio may have obtained and misused certain customer information. We immediately launched a third-party investigation and promptly notified law enforcement and the IRS about the situation. We are diligently working with all parties to correct the wrongdoing. All impacted clients have been notified and are being provided appropriate identity theft protection services. This misconduct appears to be limited to a single former franchise employee operating out of the Toledo, Ohio area.”

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