FTC cracking down on


The Federal Trade Commission is planning a presser for 10/6/10 at 11AM Central Time to announce a legal action against a tax relief service. The conference will include customers of the service and one of the television commercials it used to draw them in.

The FTC release says that it plans to announce “a major law enforcement action against a national operation based in Beverly Hills, California, that allegedly bilked consumers out of more than $60 million by falsely claiming it can lower people’s tax debts.”

David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, will host the Wednesday session.

Although the FTC release did not name the company that is the target of the action, a Google search of tax relief and Beverly Hills yielded the name American Tax Relief, and a visit to americantaxrelief.com yielded the following message:

“The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has filed a lawsuit against American Tax Relief LLC alleging that it has engaged in deceptive practices relating to the advertising, marketing, promotion, offering for sale, or sale of tax relief services. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the alleged practices. You may obtain additional information directly from the FTC at www.ftc.gov.”

The state of California, under AG Jerry Brown, recently initiated an action against another tax relief service with as extensive advertising presence. Brown charged that Tax Lady Roni Deutch claims a 99% success rate in reducing IRS rate, when it’s more like a 10% rate, and is seeking $34M in client restitution.