IRS releases more information on Friday’s tax raid in Columbus

The Internal Revenue Service has released additional information regarding last week’s raid of two tax preparation companies in Columbus and one in LaGrange.

After executing search warrants Friday morning at Joche & Associates, 2023 Auburn Ave., Tax One, 3637 Buena Vista Road and Joche & Associates, 2170 Westport Road, LaGrange, federal agents spent several hours removing boxes of files and computers from the premises.Among the items seized were client files dating back to 2006, tax refund check files, tax preparation files, employee files, USB drives, receipts and tax manuals.

The inventory list for the two Joche & Associates locations combined was 26 pages long. Tax One’s inventory of seized items ran 14 pages.Joche & Associates on Auburn Ave., and Tax One remained closed for business the afternoon of the raid, as IRS agents with the criminal investigation division worked alongside Columbus Police detectives. At the time an IRS representative from Atlanta would say only that the agents were “on official business.”

According to the Georgia Secretary of State Web site, the chief executive officer and registered agent of Joche & Associates is Johnny L. Garner. The company’s chief financial officer and secretary is Sam West. Neither Garner nor West could be reached Friday for comment.

There are several listings for Joche & Associates in the phone book as well as a Joche Fast Tax 3 and a Joche Fast Tax #2, however only the Auburn Avenue location in Columbus was targeted by the IRS. There are two Tax One locations listed in Columbus as well. The Buena Vista Road location was the only one that was occupied Friday by federal agents.

Please read tomorrow's Ledger-Enquirer for more on this story.