A federal court in Chicago has ordered Servicios Latinos Inc. to close its nationwide tax preparation business. 

The order comes after the Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against the business and its owners, Georgina Lopez, Pamela Miranda and Jorge A. Miranda, alleging that they falsely understated their customers’ tax liabilities or overstated their customers’ entitlement to a tax refund, the Justice Department said Tuesday.  The injunction also prohibits Lopez, Pamela Miranda and Jorge Miranda from acting as federal tax preparers, owning or operating tax preparation businesses and employing tax preparers.  They agreed to entry of the injunction, but did not admit the allegations in the complaint.

According to the complaint, Servicios Latinos operated out of approximately 84 stores in as many as 30 states, with locations including Kennet Square, Pennsylvania; Kansas City, Missouri; and Las Vegas, Nevada.  The complaint alleged that the tax prep chain’s employees prepared income tax returns that falsely claim child tax credits and the Earned Income Tax Credit, claim incorrect filing statuses, and report incorrect income and expense figures.

The complaint alleges that Servicios Latinos has prepared more than 42,000 federal income tax returns since 2012.  The Internal Revenue Service has estimated that the loss to the U.S. Treasury from the defendants’ conduct exceeds $4.7 million for 2014 alone, according to the complaint.

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