Lawsuits filed in California on May 6 allege that two of the nation's largest tax preparation companies defrauded low-income filers by using deceptive and misleading practices. The companies supposedly made it difficult for taxpayers to access the Internal Revenue Service's Free File program. In the lawsuits, the Los Angeles City Attorney accuses H&R Block and Inuit of violating California's unfair competition law. The litigation asks for injunctions to put an end to the alleged deceptive practices and seeks restitution for filers who paid for tax preparation services even though they qualified for the Free File program.
While diet products are popular in California for people seeking to lose weight, many supplements and other items are backed by little to no meaningful evidence. Now, one advertising agency has settled a joint complaint brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the Maine state government for deceptive advertising. The firm, Marketing Architects, agreed to pay $2 million to the plaintiffs, representing the largest fine imposed on an ad agency. The plaintiffs had accused the company of using false and misleading claims to promote dubious weight-loss regimens.