Alleging pervasive fraud, the government has filed civil injunction suits against five corporations that operate Jackson Hewitt tax prep franchises, as well as 24 individuals who manage or work at the franchises, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced.According to the four lawsuits -- filed in federal courts in Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Raleigh, N.C. -- the corporations operate under franchise agreements with Jackson Hewitt Tax Services Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., the nation’s second-largest tax preparation firm. Collectively, the suits allege that the businesses cost more than $70 million in losses to the U.S. Treasury.

One of the individual defendants, Farrukh Sohail of Atlanta, wholly, or partly, owns each of the five corporations. Those businesses operated more than 125 Jackson Hewitt retail tax preparation stores in the Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., areas -- preparing and filing more than 105,000 federal income tax returns last year.

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