June 30, 2005
Kansas City, Mo. — J.K. Harris Holding Co., a company that advertised it would settle delinquent tax debt for "pennies on the dollar," will fully reimburse $18,118 to nine consumers and pay the state $25,000 in costs under an agreement with Attorney General Jay Nixon.
In a consent judgment filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, J.K. Harris Holding of North Charleston, S.C., will cease deceptive sales practices and will refund the fees paid for services to negotiate lower tax liabilities. Individuals paid from $390 to $2,700 for services that either were not delivered or were not delivered as promised.
"This company told Missouri consumers that it could reduce their tax debt to practically nothing, but for several consumers, that was not the case," Nixon said. "Companies need to know that deceptive sales pitches are against the law in Missouri, and we will zealously protect the rights of the consumer in these matters."
In a lawsuit filed in January, Nixon alleged that J.K. Harris conducted business in Missouri without being registered with the Secretary of State, and made misleading claims that the company could settle tax debt for "pennies on the dollar." The company also made claims that tax professionals and former IRS agents were available to consult with clients. In reality, consumers only talked to sales representatives.
In addition to the monetary restitution and payment to the state, J.K. Harris must provide a full listing of all complaints it has received from consumers located in Missouri. Under the consent judgment, for the next 90 days J.K. Harris will remain liable for any new verifiable complaints it might receive related to allegations in the lawsuit.