Chesterfield couple, business sue Carbondale accountant over tax returns

Andrea Dearden Apr. 4, 2012, 2:56am

A Carbondale-based accountant and tax advisor is being asked to pay more than $300,000 to a couple who says he knowingly falsified information on tax returns.

Stephen L. Hardy P.C., Stephen L. Hardy and Laura Hardy filed a lawsuit against Ronald E. Manis on March 16 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In the six-count complaint, the Hardys accuse Manis of professional negligence, breach of contract and fraud. The Chesterfield, Mo. husband and wife say the defendant served as their accountant. They say, in that role, Manis prepared tax returns, completed tax documents and provided financial advice about the Stephen L. Hardy professional corporation.

The Hardys contend Manis failed to properly complete state and federal tax returns he filed on their behalf in 2007 and 2008. They say the certified public accountant failed to properly calculate the amount of taxable income earned by Stephen Hardy.

In the complaint, the Hardys claim that Manis "knew at the time that he made these representations that his representations were false." The couple says they were forced to pay legal and accounting fees to correct the returns and respond to the Internal Revenue Service examinations and audits.

The Hardys are asking to be awarded more than $300,000 in damages.

Attorneys with the Mathis, Marifian & Richter LTD law firm in Belleville are representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-142

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