CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Feb. 27 that her office has taken action against a Chicago tax preparer that allegedly stole thousands of dollars in illegal fees from consumers.

Madigan filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Su Familia Income Tax and its operators, Michelle Lopez, Melissa Gasca and Vanessa Campos. Madigan has been granted a court order that bars the company from charging hidden fees. Madigan is seeking to shut the business down entirely.

According to Madigan’s office, the defendants steal from consumers by secretly deducting additional fees from consumer tax refunds. Madigan said these fees have been roughly $500 per consumer, but sometimes have been as much as $1,000, and in some instance have accounted for more than 50 percent of consumers’ tax refunds.

“The court’s order will ensure that no additional consumers are charged illegal fees to file their tax returns,” Madigan said in a statement. “Beware of tax preparers that require you to use a tax refund anticipation product with promises of a faster tax refund, because these offers are frequently laden with expensive and hidden prohibited fees.”

Handling the case for Illinois are assistant attorneys general Vijay Raghavan and Gregory Jones

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