WHEELING – A man is suing Jackson Hewitt after he claims it was negligent and breached its fiduciary duty.
K.R. Enterprises Inc. and Jeremy W. Evans were also named as defendants in the suit.
On Jan. 16, 2015, Gary Treadway went to Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Welch for the purpose of engaging Jackson Hewitt to prepare and file his 2014 tax return, according to a complaint filed Jan. 12 in Ohio Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Feb. 16.
Treadway claims he requested the “gold guarantee” product provided by the defendants and Evans promised and guaranteed on behalf of the defendants that he selected the “gold guarantee” protection product and that Treadway had received the protection product.
The plaintiff reasonably relied upon Evans’ assurance and guarantee that he had received the protection product and, during this meeting, Evans informed Treadway that his taxes were being filed and that he would receive more than $4,000 total in income tax return refunds, according to the suit.
Treadway claims that Evans did not file his tax return on Jan. 16, 2015, and, upon information and belief, the 2014 tax return and other personal and confidential information was saved into the defendants database and/or operating system without prudent and appropriate safeguards permitting employees and/or agents of the defendants to access Treadway’s personal and confidential information.
On Jan. 19, 2015, Evans falsified information and filed Treadway’s 2014 tax return, forging his signature prior to filing, according to the suit.
Treadway claims by forging his signature to the tax return and submitting false information to the Internal Revenue Service, Evans intended to convert the “Fast $50” promotion due to Treadway and generate a refund, which he could later convert for his own purposes.
On Feb. 5, 2015, Treadway returned to Jackson Hewitt to receive his 2014 tax return money and learned from employees that the amount he was to receive from the filing of his 2014 tax return by Evans was not the amount he was led to believe he would receive, according to the suit.
Treadway claims instead of the approximately $4,000 he was led to believe he was going to receive, he received a check for $1,114.05, representing the balance of $1,452 after the tax preparer deduction.
The $1,452 refund was later determined to be the incorrect refund amount, according to the IRS, and Treadway was not owed a refund at all and actually owed taxes, according to the suit.
Treadway claims another Jackson Hewitt employee completed an amended tax return for him, but never filed it and caused Treadway to incur significant state and federal interest and penalties.
The defendants were negligent and breached their fiduciary duty.
Treadway is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Jason E. Causey and James G. Bordas Jr. of Bordas & Bordas; and Eric J. Buckner of Katz Kantor Stonecrest & Buckner.
The defendants are represented by Mitchell J. Rhein and Samuel M. Brock III of Spilman Thomas & Battle.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 5:17-cv-00023