A company called American Tax Relief is being penalized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its shady business practices, which failed to compensate over $60 million dollars to their clients. The business advertised their services as a reputable way for people reduce their taxes and save money. The company collected nearly $103 million dollars before being shut down in September of 2010.
For many Americans, there has been increased pressure to trim the financial fat and save money however possible. Many of these tax services have increased their marketing budget to push the buttons of these concerned individuals using internet ads and TV commercials with hired actors. American Tax Relief charged fees ranging from 3,200 to 25,000 for their work, and in some cases even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of these people had fallen behind on things like income taxes, and were looking for a quick fix to save them from financial ruin; these tax and debt companies are at an advantage when advertising to venerable listeners.
The FTC has ordered American Tax Relief to pay out $15 million dollars in money and assets, to compensate the victims which saw no return from their investment. Company owner, Alex Seung Hahn’s net worth of about $100 million dollars afforded him a $3.4 million dollar home in Beverly Hills, an extensive collection of prestigious cars, along with gold and other valuables. Now some of these luxuries may be ceased in an effort to reimburse their former clients.
It is unclear whether Hahn and his company will face criminal charges. American Tax Relief has a strong legal defense team which was able to keep him from losing massive amounts of money, $85 million dollars remains after all the recent legal proceedings. It is important to be cautious and do research when considering one of these alleged tax or debt relief services, and contact a lawyer if you are in need of professional tax help.