TUKWILA, Wash. - A Tukwila tax preparer is accused of takingmoney and not doing people's taxes.
After getting letters from the IRS, the customers decided to get Jesse.
Lorna Walker-Fleeks calls herself the "tax lady." But customers want to know what happened to their taxes.
"She's got us in trouble with the IRS," Melanie Small said.
Small paidWalker-Fleeks $300 to do her taxes. Melanie sent them in and the IRS sent her a nasty letter back.
"Once I got that letter I was like 'oh my god,'" Small said.
The tax lady did not finish their Schedule A, the itemized deduction form. So Melanie's husband rushed to the tax lady's office looking for an explanation.
"So my husband said 'I just want my Schedule A and I want all of my back-up documentation for my taxes,'" Small said. "And she said no way I'm going to call the police, just get out of our office."
Michael Birdsall paid Walker-Fleeks $650 and she didn't finish his taxes either.
"I was totally tripping. I didn't know what the hell was going on," Birdsall said. "It was bad court TV."
According to a police report, Birdsall went to her office to confront her. She wasn't there. When the receptionist called Walker-Fleeks, she said: "I have a concealed weapon and you won't be happy if I come to the office."
We asked Michael: "How do you know she said this?"
Michael responded: "I could hear her. She was screaming this over the phone to the receptionist."
We caught up with the tax lady in court. She was facing charges of harassing a banker trying to repossess her car. But there was a big problem: The tax lady hit the bottle before coming to court and the judge wasn't happy.
"If there's some indication that you've been consuming alcohol next time you appear in court, I'll have an officer present to test whether you've been consuming alcohol and if that test is possible, if the test is positive, you will be remanded to custody," said Judge Kimberly Walden.
A couple weeks later we got a call from the tax lady's former business manager, Jason Scarry.
"I told her not to drink before we go to court. Very bad news. She shows up drunk," Scarry said.
We asked Scarry how he knew that.
He said: "How do I know she's drunk. She's carrying her drink with her."
Jason worked for Lorna for a month. He showed us her appointment books detailing numerous other clients' desperate phone calls to get their taxes done. Jesse Jones asked him: "In four weeks she did just two people?"
Scarry said: "Two people. But everybody else thinks they are being done."
As promised, at Walker-Fleeks' next court hearing an officer was there to screen her for alcohol.
"She complied," said Michael Murphy, and officer with the Tukwila Police Department. "Provided a breath test and the machine measured it."
The tax lady showed back up to court with a blood alcohol level almost double the legal limit to drive.
"I'm trying to recover from my substance thing," Walker-Fleeks told the judge. "I do the best I can so I'm asking for one more chance, please."
"I'm going to remand you to custody and set bail in the amount of $5,000 cash or bond," Judge Walden said. "Because I know I was very clear to you about your conditions of your release."
Two days later, the tax lady bailed out of jail.
But Michael Birdsall and Melanie Small have been forced to pay another accountant to finish their taxes and deal with the IRS.
"It's karma coming back to get her," Birdsall said. "I'm a firm believer in karma and maybe this is her due."
The tax lady's next court date in January.
We are working with the Tukwila Police Department to get all of customers' files back to their rightful owners.
Complaints Against Tax Preparers can be sent to:
Internal Revenue Service Office of Professional Responsibility Attn: SE:OPR - Room 7238/IR 1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20224 Or by facsimile at 202-622-2207
How can I find out if my tax practitioner has been sanctioned by OPR? Please contact OPR at . The inquiry should include the tax preparer's name and address.
Need a copy of Tax Return information? Visit