• Action 9 confronts LBS Tax Services accused of fraud, raided


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Action 9 first exposed LBS Tax Services three years ago when people who used the business to file their federal returns said they had been slammed with phony fees.

    The company is being investigated by Orlando police and the attorney general on charges of fraud, racketeering and money-laundering.

    Action 9's Todd Ulrich was there Tuesday when Orlando police and state investigators raided LBS Tax Services headquarters and the home of its president.

    Officials said there could be hundreds of victims, even beyond Florida.

    The main office for dozens of LBS Tax Services locations in several states is pretty much empty Tuesday after investigators seized tax returns, records and computers in a major fraud investigation.

    Investigators served search warrants at the headquarters and four other locations.

    No one at LBS Tax Services is talking.

    Since 2010, Action 9 investigations found consumers who thought they paid $75 for tax preparation, then said the company took hundreds out of their tax refunds.

    Investigators said LBS Tax Services trained many of its employees how to hide fees and cheat hundreds of customers.

    Marlisha Jones said she felt badly burned.

    "I'm very angry, and I think they're taking advantage of low-income working people," Jones said.

    Walner Gachette is the company president and didn't answer questions.

    He drove by the office, then disappeared.

    At his Conway lakefront home, investigators hauled away records, emptied a large safe and seized a boat.

    The Texas attorney general also accused LBS Tax Services of widespread tax fraud.

    Some consumers wonder why this didn't happen sooner.

    "I think something should have been done," Jones said.

    No one was arrested and the company had no comment.

    Investigators want former employees and victims to contact Orlando police or the attorney general.

    Investigators are hoping for refunds for victims.

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