Tax Preparer Assaults WLBT Crew - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 02/16/07

Tax Preparer Assaults WLBT Crew

By Cheryl Lasseter
cheryl@wlbt.net

Janice Singleton owns Singleton Tax Service in Northwest Jackson. She was featured in a Three On Your Side report in January, when the Secret Service raided her business.  She's charged with 15 felonies; five counts each of identity theft, wire fraud, and fraudulent use of a social security number.  She's out on bond and continues to take clients at her business.

On Friday, WLBT News paid her another visit.  Our crew wanted to ask her a few brief questions, including whether it was ethical for her to continue taking clients in light of the charges.  We took video of the business from across the street.

A woman identifying herself as Singleton's sister came out of the house.  "Can I ask you what you're filming now?" she asked.  "We're going to ask Ms. Singleton why she's still operating since she's accused of many felonies," our crew replied. 

The woman demanded we leave, but we wanted our questions answered. 

Singleton appeared a few seconds later, confronting our crew with anger and obscenities. 

"You don't wanna ask me nothing. You don't wanna ask me nothing," Singleton screamed. 

"We do our mother ****ing taxes until they say we can't", screamed another woman. 

Four other women accompanied Singleton during the confrontation, which lasted more than ten minutes.  Two of the women remained collected, and apologized to us for what was happening.

Our crew was asked to leave several times, but we had to stay to collect parts of our equipment, which one of the women threw to the ground.  Singleton hit our camera during the melee.

One of the women claims our cameraman assaulted her as he tried to ward them off.  No one was injured in the incident.

Afterward, we immediately contacted Singleton's attorney, Robert Smith. We asked him the question we didn't get answered at the business: is it ethical for Singleton to continue taking clients?  "She has not been found guilty of anything.  And she has a right to be represented. So sure, she can operate her business," he said.

We also asked Smith to comment on the altercation. "When one hires an attorney, they expect to be represented by that attorney and not have to answer any questions.  That's her right to be upset," he says.

Singleton is currently suspended with pay from the Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl. 

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