Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen | The Office of J.B. Van Hollen
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed a lawsuit against Kaleb Paulos on Thursday for allegedly engaging in deceptive business practices.
Paulos owns Instant Tax Services Inc. in Milwaukee, which allegedly lured customers in after advertising holiday loans of up to $1,000 on television and radio based on customers' anticipated tax refunds. After calling a 1-800 number, customers were told to bring in paystubs and other personal financial documents to the ITS office. Once there, they were only provided loans of $50 to $100.
The company then allegedly used the financial documents to file tax returns on behalf of the customers without their consent. It then withheld large fees, sometimes totaling more than $600, without customers' authorizations. The customers often found this out only after they went to prepare their taxes elsewhere.
An investigation by Van Hollen's office, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue found that Paulos and his company allegedly violated multiple consumer protection laws.
Lara Sutherlin, an assistant attorney general at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, is handling the case.