If you've already
done your taxes you probably have a feeling of satisfaction that the task is
behind you. If you haven't you're probably dreading the task.
19 Action News
Reporter, Paul Orlousky uncovers something else to worry about for people who
have someone else do their taxes. What do you really know about them?
Millions of people have
their taxes done by accountants or tax preparation companies. You're
handing over just about every financial and personal record you have to them. Should you ask questions before you do it? More importantly should
companies that hire tax preparers ask the questions.
H&R Block has 11,000 offices in the United States and is used without
incident by tens of thousands of people every day.
At the H&R Block office in Vermilion we
were alerted to something that made us wonder.
Are background checks done
Amber Sheaves, a Block
tax preparer has been with the company since 2004.
Lorain County court records show that Sheaves pleaded
guilty to identity fraud in 2008.
She was ordered to pay $1,971 in
restitution and was put on three years of probation.
When the restitution
wasn't made probation was extended another year.
Just last month it was
extended another year because she still hadn't paid back the money.
When confronted, Sheaves had no comment.
"I just have a question," said reporter, Paul Orlousky.
we go outside and do this?" asked Sheaves.
"Sure, I just have a question about your
conviction," asked Orlousky.
"Oh, I have no comment," replied Sheaves.
"Well, do you think you should be
dealing with people's taxes?" asked Orlousky.
On the Block's website, Amber Sheaves listed her areas of expertise in tax preparation and also her love of
Court records show she's involved in an animal rescue dispute.
"I have a lawyer dealing with
this,"said Sheaves. "Well, actually, I have a protection order."
"Against, for this?" asked Orlousky.
"No comment," replied Sheaves.
But the bigger story is her
arrest - Sheaves' plea of guilty and conviction for identity fraud.
It was a case where
she signed up for credit cards in another person's name and ran up $30,500 in
bills without the person's knowledge.
Within hours of the confrontation Amber Sheaves was removed from the Block's web site and terminated.
As Block points out there is no
evidence that any taxpayer's information was compromised by Amber
Her conviction is unrelated to her employment here.
Amber Sheaves is less important than the question of how she kept working after
the felony conviction.
Why didn't Block know about it?
A statement from the company's
corporate office says, "we take this matter very seriously and are
currently looking into it further."
But Helen Neeley doesn't buy
She's got phone records of her call to block weeks ago.
reported the conviction, even the case number and says she never heard back.
I can't understand how the courts
would ever let her work there, how H&R Block would let her work there and
how she would even think she could work there," said Neeley.
This identity fraud is
Court documents show the victim was Amber Sheaves' sister.
Over 3 1/2 years Sheaves opened 16 charge accounts in her
sister's name without her knowledge.
The $30,500 she charged up has been
sent to collections.
Sunday, May 19 2013 11:51 PM EDT2013-05-20 03:51:29 GMT
DPS officials confirm that one person is dead following an accident involving a motorcycle and an 18-wheeler .Authorities say the accident happened near the intersection of County Road 2142 and County RoadMore >>
DPS officials confirm that one person is dead following an accident involving a motorcycle and an 18-wheeler.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:07 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:07:39 GMT
From the Tyler Police Department: TYLER, TX (KLTV) - On Saturday at approximately 8:50 p.m., police responded to a pedestrian accident that occurred in the 2300 block of West Erwin Street in Tyler. UponMore >>
The pedestrian was immediately transported to East Texas Medical Center with life threatening injuries, where he later died from his injuries.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:56 PM EDT2013-05-19 16:56:47 GMT
The Nacogdoches Sheriff's Office was called out to the Ponderosa area Sunday morning around 2:30 AM to a party where an intoxicated Francisco Rivera had assaulted a party-goer.Police say 26-year-old RiveraMore >>
The Nacogdoches Sheriff's Office was called out to the Ponderosa area Sunday morning around 2:30 AM to a party where an intoxicated Francisco Rivera had assaulted a party-goer.More >>