CHARLES TOWN -- A Ft. Myers, Fla., couple is suing H&R Block for fraud, negligence and breach of contract.
On July 14, 2009, Brian Humphreys went to the defendant's Bonita Springs, Fla., office to get assistance in preparation of his and Mariangela Humphreys' tax returns, according to a complaint filed March 31 in Jefferson Circuit Court.
Mr. Humphreys claims after working with Randy Pagel for approximately 30 minutes, Pagel offered to do the tax preparation outside H&R Blcok and indicated it was save them $200, but Mr. Humphreys refused and insisted the work be done as part of H&R Block.
Pagel gave Mr. Humphreys a list of additional information that he needed to complete the return and said he intended to leave the company and work for another firm, so he insisted Mr. and Mrs. Humphreys return the next day to complete and sign their return, according to the suit.
Mr. Humphreys claims the next day Pagel showed them how he could manipulate the H&R Block computer system to save them $200, but wanted them to pay him $100 to do so. He claims they got into a heated argument and were asked to sign their income tax return and leave the office.
Mr. Humphreys claims he called H&R Block's corporate headquarters and complained to them about what had happened and indicated he and his wife were concerned Pagel would misuse their personal information or alter their return as payback for not agreeing to his terms, to which H&R Block filed the complaint and indicated the district manager would be notified.
On July 17, 2009, Mr. Humphreys received a phone call from Pagel that he had been fired from H&R Block, had already found a new job, but that he had "already served 10 years on prison for a felony," and if the Humphreys pressed criminal charges against him, he might lose his new job and then he would be a "vindictive felon on the street with nothing to lose," according to the suit.
Mr. Humphreys claims Pagel advised him that if H&R Block came after him criminally there would be consequences.
The Humphreys claim the defendant did not disclose that it was going to tell Pagel, who was a convicted felon, that he was being fired because of their complaint, thus creating even greater danger for both plaintiffs.
The Humphreys are seeking compensatory damages.
Jefferson Circuit Court case number: 10-C-107