Fraudulent tax-prep services file bogus claims, ripping off many Elberton residents
It started in mid-January: $500 checks were soaring into the town of Elberton like paper airplanes in a fifth-grade classroom.
Liquor stores and other Elberton check-cashing locations cashed between $5,000 and $8,000 in checks. Between $10,000 and $12,000 was cashed at the local superstore. And one local bank cashed at least $26,000 worth.
People in Elberton and surrounding Elbert County, about an hour’s drive east of Athens, happily collected their tax refund checks from the Internal Revenue Service. Members of the community, often relying on word of mouth, had enlisted the services of a metro Atlanta tax preparation company — and soon college-age kids