by Brian Mahany
Earlier today I was called by a fellow in Baltimore who lost $1700 to Roni Deutch. According to him, he paid her that money to get help with an offer in compromise application. Like many Americans, this gentlemen was overextended and wanted to settle up his tax debts with Uncle Sam. That was months ago. Nothing happened.
Apparently one of Deutch’s telemarketers promised lots of help but took little action. The only action I can see is processing his payment. Earlier today he called Deutch (again) seeking a refund and found out the company was closed. It’s true. According to published news reports, Roni Deutch is finished.
The Sacramento Bee reported a few hours ago that Roni is surrendering her law license and closing her doors. She claims she is broke and says she plans to “cry”. The only ones who should be crying are the thousands of people who relied on those horrible commercials promising tax relief for “pennies on the dollar.”
We have reported continuously about the cottage industry of tax relief scams that primarily advertise their “services” through mass market radio and television ad campaigns. The California Attorney General accused Deutch of ripping off Californians to the tune of $34 million. According to Roni, her firm has millions in debt and few assets. Unfortunately, she is not the only tax relief scam out there.
Prosecutors are also examining whether Deutch destoyed millions of a pages of records after being ordered by a court to turn them over to the state.
While Roni and her victims may be crying (probably many TV stations who are probably owed millions too), we are celebrating. At least there is one more huckster who won’t be taking advantage of the poor any more. Think about it. Those who seek her services are the very same people who are struggling with too much debt.
There are millions of Americans who owe taxes. Some because of layoffs and some because of illness. Many of these folks scraped up every nickel they could find or borrow to pay a fraudster who promised tax relief for pennies on the dollar. Invariably, the story ends with broken promises and the tax debt continues to accrue interest and penalties. By the time they find us, they have no money to pay.
Mahany & Ertl is a boutique law firm that concentrates in tax relief and tax resolution. Our Wisconsin based tax attorneys have helped people from Maine to Hawaii and many places in between. Unlike those advertising with expensive TV ads, we are not a bulk or quantity operation. Each client is treated as family.
Our offer in compromise services are usually handled on a flat fee basis. We can usually tell pretty early if you are a viable offer candidate and how much the IRS is likely to accept to compromise your tax debts. If we can’t help you or you don’t like our advice, we will gladly refund you most of your fee. We want happy clients, not endless complaints about us on the Internet.