by Brian Mahany
Anyone reading this blog knows we are not fans of Roni Deutch nor any of the late night TV scams hawking tax resolution services for pennies on the dollar. In almost every case, they are a scam. On the very day that Roni Deutch closed her doors, I had a gentlemen from the East Coast call to say that he had been unsuccessfully trying to get a refund for months after Roni’s firm took his money but provided nothing in return. Thankfully, the Attorney General of California finally shut her down and shut her up. Almost.
Instead of a tearful apology from the woman who California says ripped off people to the tune of $34 million, Roni bowed out kicking and screaming. According to published reports, on the day she surrendered her license to practice law she had this to say,
“So I say this to you, State Bar of California, ‘Are you going to come to my building and help my 4,000 active clients? Are you going to do that, State Bar of California? Will you now come and pick up my 45,000 debt files? Will you come and pick those up? Do you really care about my clients, State Bar of California? Never disciplined me for 20 years, approving my policies, practices and procedures. Are you now going to show up and help my clients? The last time I checked, you were unwilling to help any of my clients unless I was dead or in a mental hospital.”
Well Roni, lets set the record straight. Apparently you didn’t do much to help your clients. People have been complaining to me, to reporters, to state regulators, the Better Business Bureau and anyone who would listen. It’s not the State of California’s responsibility to represent your clients. That was yours and you blew it.
Clearly the state does care, however. California sued Roni Deutch last year but did not close her down right away. She was allowed to remain open while defending the accusations against her. Only after she allegedly destroyed millions of pages of documents did authorities seek to throw her in jail for contempt. Allowing her to stay open just one more day would no doubt result in even more people losing their money.
While I have no opinion as to whether Ms. Deutch belongs in a “mental hospital,” she does belong in a jail cell and her clients deserve full refunds. The latter is not likely to happen given Ms. Deutch’s reported finances. It’s ironic that the woman who offers to help others with financial problems can’t keep her own financial house in order.
In the last couple years, state officials have gone after American Tax Relief, TaxMasters, J.K. Harris and Roni Deutch. Some are still operating unfortunately, however.
If you want honest answers about tax relief and offers in compromise, talk to us or a competent accountant or tax attorney. Whereas the acceptance rate of offers by the IRS is incredibly low, much of that is because of the damage to the tax resolution industry caused by the ridiculous promises of the TV scam artists. A good tax practitioner should be able to tell you how much the IRS will need to settle your tax bill.
You may or may not like the answer but you won’t have paid $8000 or more for absolutely nothing but empty promises and no one to take your calls.
For more information, call attorney Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731 (direct) or by email at Mahany & Ertl LLC – offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan & Portland, Maine. Services nationwide.