WHEELING – An Ohio County woman is suing Jackson Hewitt after she claims a former employee forged her signature and filed her 2014 tax return.
K.R. Enterprises Inc., Jeremy W. Evans and Ohio Security Insurance Company were also named as defendants in the suit.
On Feb. 22, 2014, Cathy Goodman went to Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Welch for the purpose of engaging the company to prepare and file her 2013 tax return, according to a complaint filed in Ohio Circuit Court and removed to federal court April 7.
Goodman claims on Feb. 9, 2015, Evans accessed the database system and/or hard copy files and accessed her personal and confidential information.
Evans used the personal and confidential information to file Goodman’s 2014 tax returns and forged her signature or consent to file, according to the suit.
Goodman claims she later went to Jackson Hewitt to file her 2014 tax returns and was immediately notified by the Internal Revenue Service that her tax returns had already been filed and, because of that, her actual tax return was being rejected.
Evans was eventually arrested and criminally charged with identity theft, attempted felony, forgery, uttering, petit larceny and fraudulent schemes, according to the suit.
Goodman claims the defendants breached their fiduciary duty and were negligent.
The defendants also violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act and the West Virginia Computer Crime and Abuse Act, according to the suit.
Goodman is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Jason E. Causey and James G. Bordas Jr. of Bordas & Bordas; and Eric J. Buckner of Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner.
Jackson Hewitt is represented by Samuel M. Brock III and Mitchell J. Rhein of Spilman Thomas & Battle.
The case was assigned to District Judge John Preston Bailey.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 5:17-cv-00043