ABC News Investigates Regular Cable News Advertiser Accused Of Fraud

By Alex Weprin 

If you have ever spent an extended period of time watching Fox News or CNN, you have probably seen an advertisement for TaxMasters, a company which promises to help people reduce the amount of money they owe the IRS.

On last night’s “World News” and “Nightline,” ABC News investigated the company, claiming to show that it is not everything it is cracked up to be. Specifically, some lawsuits claim that TaxMasters takes a fee upfront, then never delivers on the IRS help it promises.

ABC News received statements from Fox News and CNN, networks which regularly air the TaxMasters spots, about the company’s practices:

In a statement, CNN said the network was “aware of pending legal activity” and had been told by TaxMasters that it was working to address the claims with the state authorities. “We continue to monitor any activity for developments or resolution, and will further evaluate our relationship as it becomes necessary.”

Fox News acknowledged receiving viewer complaints. “Anytime we have received a complaint about TaxMasters we forward it to them and tell them they have five working days to resolve the complaint,” said a Fox News spokeswoman. While the spokeswoman did not disclose the number or nature of the complaints, she said they have all been resolved.

TaxMasters is the second cable news advertiser ABC News and Brian Ross have targeted in recent months.

Last July Ross targeted Goldline, a major sponsor of Glenn Beck’s radio and TV programs. In its advertisements Goldline claimed to sell gold as an investment, but actually sold “collectible gold coins” at outrageous markups, making for very poor investments.

Watch Brian Ross’s TaxMasters investigation below: