A lawsuit was filed last August charging Deutch with engaging in “a heartless scheme that swindled people with tax problems,” according to then-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. “She promises to significantly reduce their IRS tax debts, but instead preys on their vulnerability, taking large up-front payments but providing little or no help in lowering their tax bills.” Ads claim Deutch’s success rate in dealing with the IRS is as high as 99 percent, but the percentage of clients whose tax bills Deutch actually reduces is a mere 10 percent.
California’s new Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris, filed an application in Superior Court asking that Deutch, an attorney, be held in contempt, charging that she has repeatedly violated the court’s orders.
“Deutch is an officer of this Court and a member of the Bar, which only serves to magnify the seriousness of Deutch’s violations of the Court’s orders. If anyone can be expected to respect and follow this Court’s orders, it should be those licensed to practice as attorneys before the Court. The harm caused by Deutch’s contempt is worthy of the most severe sanction,” Harris said in her court filing.
It seems immediately after Deutch had been ordered to “take reasonable steps to preserve every document” that might have a bearing in the case said Harris, “the very next day after the [court issued the order], Deutch conducted a purge of law firm documents that resulted in the shredding of nearly 2,000 pounds of the firm’s documents, or about 200,000 pages.” Harris is asking the court to fine Deutch $1,000 and imprison her for five days for “each and every separate contempt” — $1,000 and five days in jail for each of the millions of pages of documents destroyed and each refund not issued.
Deutch also ignored a preliminary injunction that requires her to return all unearned fees to clients within 60 days and admitted that she has over $400,000 in refund requests that are older than 60 days, Harris said.
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