OLATHE, Kan. -- A Lenexa accountant is in big trouble for not filing his clients’ taxes returns and holding onto their documentation.
Allen Matthews appeared Tuesday in Johnson County Court, charged with criminal deprivation of property, assault and battery.
Court documents name nine victims, but FOX4 found many more people who said they were scammed.
“It has been great and a great experience right up until this time last year,” a woman who asked not to be identified said.
She said she and her husband had Matthews handle their taxes for more than 10 years.
After handing over their documents for 2016, she couldn't get Matthews to send her copies of her returns. The woman said she was forced to take matters into her own hands after multiple cancelled appointments and unreturned calls, emails and text messages.
“I showed up on the doorstep and said I am not leaving until I get the paperwork,” the former client said.
The paperwork Matthews handed over was not what she expected.
“I thought I was going to get copies for 2016 along with paperwork that was done for 2017, and all I got back were the pages that we had provided him ourselves,” the woman said. “So we didn’t get anything back that was done on our behalf.”
Prosecutors say victims named in the court paperwork had similar experiences, and according to online reviews of Matthews, many more tell the same story.
“I have yet to have them file my 2016 returns, and they won’t send me my paperwork back,” one man wrote.
Another wrote: “Upon dozens of communications I have either been totally ignored or just lied to about the status.”
One woman who went to Matthews' office after not getting replies wrote, “He took me into an office to wait. I told him I needed to leave within 10 minutes and just needed my documents. He told me to sit down, be quiet and shut the door!”
In fact, court documents show Matthews may have been violent with other clients. Besides criminal deprivation of property, he is also charged with battery and assault.
“I am not shocked because, given our own experience, it sounds like we weren’t the only ones,” said Matthews former client, who speculates some sort of personal issue has caused his downfall. “It is unfortunate that it has gotten to this.”
Matthews was given a $25,000 bond, which he is expected to post. He will be back in court June 14.
The Johnson County District Attorney's Office asks anyone else who believes they may also be a victim to contact its office at (913) 715-3140.
The Internal Revenue Service also provided this information for anyone who has been a victim of fraud:
- If you’ve been a victim of return preparer fraud and the preparer did not file your return by the April deadline, it is important to file as soon as you can to avoid penalties and interest on any amount that was due. There is no penalty for filing a late return if you are due a refund, but you will need to file a return to get the refund. Free File is available on IRS.gov for persons who made $66,000 or less in 2017.
- The quickest way to obtain a copy of your current year Form W-2 is through your employer. Your employer first submits Form W-2 to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and after SSA processes it, they transmit the federal tax information to the IRS.
- You can get various Form 1040-series transcript types online or by mail. If you need your prior year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) to e-file, choose the tax return transcript type when making your request: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
- You may want to obtain a tax professional to help you. Most tax return preparers provide outstanding and professional tax service. However, each year some taxpayers are hurt financially because due to unscrupulous tax return preparers. Be sure to check our tips for choosing a tax preparer. Before the return is signed by you and filed by the preparer, go over everything on the return with the preparer, and ask questions if you have them.