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July 22, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
A former manager of an H&R Block tax preparation office in the San Fernando Valley was sentenced to one year in federal prison for using the identities of his company's clients to file false income tax returns and steal the refunds. Damon Charles Dubose, 40, who worked as a manager at an H&R Block office in Van Nuys, had pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud and filing false tax returns. He acknowledged using personal information of the firm's clients - including names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers - to file at least 12 false and unauthorized returns that generated more than $48,000 in refunds.
June 26, 2013 | By Tina Susman, This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.
NEW YORK -- It wasn't just the $363,053 tax bill that drove Edith "Edie"  Windsor to take on the federal government four years ago. Windsor, heartbroken after the death of her longtime partner, Thea Spyer, was also angered by the fact that if Thea had been Theo, the estate she left to Windsor would not have been taxed. "So I decided to sue and get my money back," Windsor, now 84, said Wednesday shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1996 federal law that had left Windsor with a tax bill that no opposite-sex couple would have faced.
June 12, 2013 | By Randall Roberts
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have announced that they will offer refunds to attendees of Saturday night's shortened gig at the Fonda. Petty's set, one of six at the 1,300-capacity venue, was shut down early after fire marshals deemed the room overcrowded. In a statement released Tuesday night after the band's final gig of the residency, Petty representatives apologized. “The satisfaction of fans is of paramount importance to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the band shares the frustration of the fans in attendance that evening who deserved to experience the entire performance.” Petty offered his own apology for the incident between songs during Sunday's set. "I was up all night talking about this," he said.
May 23, 2013 | Ruben Vives and Hector Becerra
Bell's finances have worsened considerably since its infamous corruption scandal, leaving the city unable to refund millions of dollars in taxes illegally levied on residents and businesses, an audit released Wednesday shows. The report by the state controller paints a troubling picture of the small southeast Los Angeles County city's efforts to recover from the 2010 scandal, which resulted in felony convictions against five former City Council members. The city's longtime city manager, Robert Rizzo, faces trial on corruption charges later this year.
May 7, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Campgrounds and trails remain closed at Point Mugu State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains after the Springs fire last week cut a blazing path from Newbury Park to Pacific Coast Highway. The 28,000-acre wildfire is expected to be fully contained as soon as Tuesday afternoon. Popular campgrounds at Sycamore Cove and Thornhill Broome Beach, accessed by Pacific Coast Highway, are to be closed until later in May, officials said. ReserveAmerica , the service that handles campground reservations, has been informing campers who had booked sites about the closure and refunding their money.
March 15, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
Two small Southern California credit unions have been shut down by federal regulators, who said they would return deposits to members. Pepsi Cola Federal Credit Union of Buena Park and ICE Federal Credit Union of Inglewood were insolvent, with no prospects for restoring viable operations, the National Credit Union Administration said Friday in news releases . Deposits are federally insured up to $250,000. National Credit Union Administration officials said that no deposits were uninsured and that the agency would send letters to affected individuals within a week.
March 14, 2013 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
For five years, all UC students have been paying a $60 annual fee to help the university finance massive refunds for past illegal tuition practices. As a result of a UC regents vote Thursday, that charge will continue for five more years. The controversy began a decade ago when students in law, medical, nursing and other UC professional schools complained that they were being forced to pay fee increases despite promises in university brochures and websites that their education costs would not rise before graduation.
March 13, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Adolfo Flores, Los Angeles Times
Some taxpayers splurge on big-screen televisions or pay off their credit cards with their tax refund, while others, like Brandon Frank, count on it to pay rent. The 25-year-old former construction worker from Michigan and father of three may have to wait as long as six weeks before he sees his refund, because of a filing error by H&R Block. "I was counting on it for rent," said Frank, who's been unemployed since October and is attending college. "I'm probably going to have to go to one of the cash-advance places, because the money I was expecting isn't there.
March 11, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
A former manager of an H&R Block tax preparation office in Van Nuys pleaded guilty to charges that he used the identities of the firm's clients to file false tax returns and get thousands of dollars in fraudulent refunds. Damon Charles Dubose, 39, of North Hills pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing false claims with the Internal Revenue Service. Dubose used his access to client records to file unauthorized tax returns for at least 12 people, generating more than $48,000 in fraudulent refunds, federal prosecutors said.
March 7, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Americans hit the stores in February - but with only the barest of enthusiasm as they worried about bad weather, delayed tax refunds and the federal mix of tax increases and spending cuts known as sequestration. Three separate measures of sales at stores open at least a year showed revenue dampened by economic factors such as higher gas prices, stubbornly high unemployment and a payroll tax boost. Pasadena student Elisa Jimenez, 21, said her paycheck as a sales associate mostly went for school and fuel last month.
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