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No money at Mo Money?

Despite the avalanche of problems facing Mo Money Taxes, co-owner Derrick Robinson says that any fears the company will be closed down by the challenges are unwarranted.

by Tony Jones
Special to the Tri-State Defender

Despite the avalanche of problems facing Mo Money Taxes, co-owner Derrick Robinson says that any fears the company will be closed down by the challenges are unwarranted and that anyone owed a refund will get “every cent coming to them.”

Robinson’s declaration came Wednesday (Feb. 8) afternoon. But by nightfall came the news that Mo Money Taxes could be facing a federal investigation.

A formal letter of apology from Mo Money, which sought the media’s help to circulate the letter, attempts to explain the trouble customers have encountered, but it may be a case of too little, too late.

A joint letter from 9th District Rep. Steve Cohen and Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott has been dispatched to the U.S. Justice Department seeking an investigation into numerous complaints. “When you file with Mo Money what you gets is NO money,” one irate customer told a television reporter.

Addressed to U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, the Cohen-Scott letter states:

“We write to ask for an immediate investigation and all other appropriate actions by your office to address the apparently fraudulent and criminal actions of the ‘Mo Money Taxes’ operation in Norfolk, Virginia and vicinity, and in Memphis, Tennessee and vicinity. Complaints by many who recently obtained the help of Mo Money Taxes in filing their returns range from lack of information as to the status of their returns to outright fraudulent filings and bounced checks issued for refunds due filers. The full extent of the problem is not known, but as attached news reports reflect, hundreds of people have been victimized.

Cohen on Wednesday told The New Tri-State Defender that he learned of Mo Money’s problems “from calls to my office and through the media when I was home over the weekend.  Congressman Scott had already mentioned it to me when we were in a judiciary meeting, saying he was going to call me, and that he was preparing a letter because there was a problem in his district in Virginia.”

Robinson said when the matter is resolved Mo Money is going to come back strong as ever. “People are going to find out in the end that these problems have been exaggerated and we are not the cause of it.”

Media reports paint a picture of a lot more people having problems than really are, he said.

“There have been problems and we will address them, but if people will take the time to do their homework – I certainly would if it was my money – they will find out that what we are saying is true. There has been a snowball effect following the IRS updating its system,” Robinson said.

“Our software vendor and our bank have experienced problems from that change and we just continue to try to work them out. Some people love to clown and it entertains the media when they do, but it does nothing to fix the problem. What you really are seeing is a classic case of a problem being blown out of proportion and dumped on a black-owned company.”

The Internal Revenue Service has notified taxpayers several times that any returns filed before Jan. 26 would be delayed due to new software being installed to ensure better safety. The alert is carried on its website.

Christian Davis, president of Olympic Tax Service, said the IRS did notify customers that there would be a week’s minimal delay in issuing refunds.

“After we complete our processing, it goes to an E-File center, and the refunds are drained from the system three times per day. They (Mo Money) may have additional internal issues that are causing them problems,” said Davis. “The bank they may be using may not be as well known, and there’s so much (check) fraud in Memphis it makes banks and check cashing companies leery, and it may be difficult for them to verify.”

Mo Money’s Markey Granberry has said that the firm has had additional software problems.

Violent confrontations have forced several Mo Money offices to close their doors.

In its letter of apology, Mo Money states, “We hope that we can send our Licensees and staff back into their places of employment to continue to serve our loyal clientele, safely and securely. And, that all involved parties will give the truth a chance to come forth without further instigation.”


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