AJC Investigation: Hapeville city councilwoman's trail of fraud

A Hapeville city councilwoman accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a family member has a lengthy history of fraud, schemes and complaints that may have cost Georgians millions of tax dollars.

After a month-long investigation, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News and asked Georgia's Department of Revenue about Ruth Barr and B&B Accounting and Tax Service, including repeated complaints that she preyed on her tax clients.

The state immediately opened a criminal investigation, alleging Barr prepared thousands of suspicious tax returns that inflated the value of her clients' refunds.

"I trusted her to do my taxes for 30 years," Nongyao DeLong Key, one former client, said. "Your accountant is the person that knows everything about you."

Barr is not an accountant. She is a tax preparer, and has her own trail of foreclosures, tax liens, and lawsuits, according to public records obtained by the AJC and Channel 2.

AJC investigative reporter Brad Schrade is looking into the fraudulent return allegations that may have cost the state millions, and how thousands of her clients may now have to pay it all back, on myAJC.com. Read the full story here.

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