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South Side tax prep business sued for allegedly defrauding customers

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul | Sun-Times file photo

A tax preparation business with locations on the South Side is accused of unlawfully collecting more than $1 million in fees from its customers.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Kwame Raoul’s office announced a lawsuit Tuesday against Nu Republic, a company based in Georgia, that has several locations in Chicago.

Nu Republic and its sister company Refund Republic allegedly defraud their customers by charging hidden fees that sometimes add up to $1,000, the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

The company allegedly offers “refund anticipation products,” which are actually short-term loans with high interest rates and fees, Raoul’s office said.

The lawsuit also alleges that Nu Republic files error-ridden tax returns and makes unauthorized submissions to the IRS.

The attorney general’s office filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against Nu Republic to close its locations. The statement lists three: 7900 S. Drexel Ave., 644 E. 79th St. and 1703 W. 79th St.

The franchise owner of two of those locations, Toure Muhammad, told CBS2 that the allegations were disturbing and would have to be addressed immediately. He said his company exists to give back to the community, not to take from it.

Nu Republic’s Chicago branch has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau.