H&R Tax professional uses client info to take out loans

4:10 PM, Jul 29, 2013   |    comments
Paul Sakuma, AP
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Hernando County, Florida-- An H&R Block tax professional has been accused of using her clients' identities to take out loans after preparing their federal income taxes. 

According to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report, 36-year-old Melanie Johnson recently used the names, addresses, birth dates and social security numbers of two clients to take out advance loans against their pending federal income tax refunds. 

The loans were reportedly given in the form of two H&R Block "Emerald Cards", or debit cards- one for $900 and the other for just shy of $1,000. 

Despite Johnson's use of false addresses on the application for the Emerald Cards, investigators say they tracked her through the initial loan applications. 

She's been arrested on state charges of criminal use of personal identification, however deputies say they plan to petition the U.S. Attorney's Office for federal prosecution. It would result in a minimum sentence of two years in prison for each of her two counts. 

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