Owner of Indiana’s Instant Tax Service chain pleads guilty to fraud

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Mar. 4, 2016) - A Fishers man pleaded guilty to a 2013 tax fraud scheme worth more than $1.5 million.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the owner of a chain of tax service centers, helped to defraud taxpayers.

David R. Franklin owned and operated twenty Instant Tax Service locations in Indiana. Between 2010 and 2012 he prepared and encouraged his employees to prepare more than 2,300 false tax returns, which resulted in a $1.5 million loss to the IRS.

Both the Better Business Bureau and the Indiana Department of Revenue say that that Franklin’s tax schemes are common this time of year: tax season. This case is a reminder to be extra alert about who you give your personal and financial information to.

“We don’t want people to get ripped off and unfortunately there are some unscrupulous people out there preparing taxes,” said Tim Maniscalo, the CEO and President of the Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana. He says Franklin’s case is easy proof that we all need to check the box on doing our homework when it comes to taxes, including researching the company and location that’s preparing your taxes.

“Almost everything about your financial situation is there in your tax returns,” said Maniscalo. “That can do you a lot of damage if people would steal your identity or something like that.”

Franklin will be sentenced in October.

To research your tax preparer’s status and certifications, as well as details on how you can get your taxes done for free, head to BBB.org.

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