The owner of a Covington hair salon was arrested for defrauding clients of tax return refunds after six victims filed reports against her, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.
Joel Devonne Jordon, 36, of Covington - also known as Ursula Jordon - had been preparing other people's income tax returns for several years on the side to supplement her work as the owner of a Everyday Styling Salon & Spa on Kirkland Road.
According to NCSO spokesperson Investigator Sharon Stewart, Jordon would use her bank account to receive the refunds and then give the victims only part or none of the refund.
At least six people have reported fraud complaints to the NCSO, and there may be more, according to Stewart.
"All of them are finding out they owe money back to the IRS," said Stewart.
There's currently no estimate of the amount of money she took from her clients, as the NCSO is still awaiting paperwork from the IRS, but the victims have filed charges regarding returns from 2004 to 2007.
Jordon was arrested May 8 and charged with theft by deception, a felony, but is not talking with investigators, according to Stewart. Jordon also faces charges for credit card fraud in a separate case still under investigation.
Persons concerned that they might have been defrauded of their income tax return should contact the IRS, said Stewart.
Victims might also want to check for other places where their identity might have been used to set up other accounts.
"When you're talking about doing taxes, you're having to give up a great deal of personal information," said Julia Benson-Slaughter, computer science professor at Georgia Perimeter College, in a previous interview with the News. "If you don't totally trust whoever's doing your taxes, then there's certainly potential for ID theft there."
When choosing a tax preparation service, make sure it's been an organization that's been in business for a while and has good recommendations, said Benson-Slaughter. One place to check for complaints is the Better Business Bureau.
She added that for concerns about identity theft, a good place for information is the Federal Trade Commission Web site.
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