Wisc. AG announces judgment against tax prep business

By Bryan Cohen | Jan 25, 2013

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a consent judgment Thursday against the owner and operator of a Milwaukee-based tax preparation business to resolve alleged violations of consumer protection laws.

In December, Van Hollen's office sued Nicholas S. Wallace, the owner and operator of All Star Tax Service, for allegedly violating multiple state lending and consumer protection laws. Wallace allegedly operated an unlicensed consumer lending business, failed to provide proper loan documentation and disclosures, and made misrepresentations to consumers in-person and through advertisements.

Wallace allegedly made unlicensed loans to approximately 200 consumers at high interest rates without a license.

The consent judgment provides that the loans Wallace made are unenforceable and bars him from taking any steps to collect the loans.

"This case reflects the state's commitment to protecting Wisconsin consumers from injury from illegal business practices," Van Hollen said. "Our partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the Department of Financial Institutions allowed us to move swiftly in this case to halt illegal practices."

Under the terms of the consent judgment, Wallace is enjoined from engaging in business practices that violate state law, and is required to base his customers' tax returns on W-2 forms and other compulsory data rather than paystubs alone, is prohibited from deducting fees from his customers' tax refunds and is required to send refunds directly to customers.

Wallace must also reimburse the state $2,000 for attorney and court expenses.

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