MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A convicted armed robber on parole turned tax preparer is accused of scamming a Mid-South woman out of big bucks.
Right now tax preparers must report to the federal government that they have a felony criminal record. But it's just reported, that's it. Truth is nothing prevents them from preparing anyone's taxes.
How do you go from being an armed robber to a tax preparer? Uvauti Brooks didn't want to answer that question when we caught up with him in court this week.
Brooks was convicted to 10 years in prison for armed robbery in 2006. He claims to be the owner of Global Financial Tax Services, a Covington company that when we stopped by was closed, and the advertised website doesn't work.
"We seized his computers because it was the only asset we could find," said Joe Barton, the lawyer who's trying to recoup money from Brooks for what he calls a swindle. Barton says Brooks scammed $10,000 from his client in what he calls an unrelated real estate business deal.
"He has no real property, every bank account we tried to seize was empty, his parole officers didn't have a good address on him," Barton said.
Truth is the IRS is considering proposals that would require some tax preparers to undergo finger printing and background checks, but so far there's no law on the books.
Barton said, "I find it distressing, given the other tax scandals that have come to light, that this guy, a convicted felon, has chosen to be in the tax preparation business."
We asked Brooks if he owned a legitimate tax service, but he would not comment. If Brooks had nothing to hide then he would have answered that question.
Truth is if the IRS had background checks already in place, Brooks and other felons would not be allowed near the important personal documents that are used to prepare someone's taxes.