MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Mo' Money's owners call their customers "hardworking people who are the backbone of America," and if those hardworking people are now Mo' Money "haters," so be it.
Mo' Money founders and Memphis cousins Markey Granberry and Derrick Robinson teamed up as teenagers. After high school, they learned accounting. The south Memphis duo quickly realized they wanted to be their own bosses, if for different reasons.
"I don't believe in doing anything for the money," Robinson said. "If I don't like it, I'm not going to do it. I don't care what it is and what it pays, to be honest with you."
Granberry said, "I told my mother basically that I was going to be a millionaire, I was going to be a millionaire one day."
Mo' Money was born in 1995. They had 400 clients the first year. Their one of a kind urban-flavored commercials generated laughs, awards and customers.
Now with 300 offices in 17 states, more than 40,000 people rely on Mo' Money to show them the money.
The company's big promise: get your refund back in less than 30 seconds, an empty promise for Mississippi business owner Patrick Moore in 2010.
He told abc24.com, "I was expecting to have it back in a matter of weeks." Three months later, Moore's rapid refund was still missing in action. More cracks appeared in Mo Money's armor that year.
Regulators in North Carolina issued a $13,000 fine for violating state tax laws. The Arkansas Attorney General filed suit against Mo' Money for the same reason. ABC 24 then uncovered that Mo' Money Taxes owed back taxes to Shelby County government. A week before the tax deadline, offices across Memphis were mysteriously closed.
Client frustration rose to a whole new level in cities across the country this year. Customers desperate for their tax refunds were told Mo' Money had no money.
Granberry, in a news conference on February 4, 2012, blamed an IRS software problem.
"The last thing we want to do is have the American people frantic, like some tax company is taking their money," he said. "Their money is not in my checking account."
Mo' Money's founders are now busy shaking off the haters until the money gets where it needs to go.
"We might have a few. And that's always good," Robinson said. "You need some haters. How you gonna be successful without haters?"
Granberry and Robinson do give back to Memphis, from donating hundreds of Thanksgiving turkeys to sponsoring little league teams.
Granberry said despite their troubles business is booming, and mo' people are choosing Mo' Money to do their taxes.