Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Belleville law firm alleges accountant failed to file taxes


Feb 14, 2020

Chatham and Baricevic

Belleville attorneys and their law firm are suing an accountant for allegedly failing to file their taxes and then refusing to return their financial records after his services were terminated.

Charles Baricevic, Grey Chatham and their law firm Chatham & Baricevic LLC filed the lawsuit Jan. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Mark Diak.

According to their complaint, Diak was an accountant doing business in St. Clair County. The plaintiffs claim they engaged Diak to perform certain accounting services on their behalf including the preparation and filing of state and federal quarterly tax returns as well as year-end tax returns.

However, the defendant’s services were terminated in mid-2018 “due to a number of irregularities,” the complaint states.

After Diak’s services were terminated, the plaintiffs claim they made numerous demands for the return of various financial records so they could make an accurate account as to what their financial obligations were to the state and federal government.

They also claim they demanded verification that their taxes had been filed.

“That the defendant lied to the plaintiff indicating that two extension of income tax filings had been obtained,” the suit states.

The plaintiffs allege Diak refused to surrender all of the pertinent records, requiring the plaintiffs to file legal action on Nov. 19, 2018 in order to retrieve their records (18-MR-3055).

In their lawsuit seeking financial records, the plaintiffs allege Diak was expected to perform accounting services for taxable years 2015-2017 prior to his termination.

“That in spite of the representation made by the defendant he failed to perform the represented accounting services and in some case performed no accounting services at all in spite of various representations by him that all had been filed,” the prior suit stated.

As a result of that lawsuit, the plaintiffs were able to obtain their records.

“That shortly after necessary said records were produced, plaintiffs were then able to discern that the defendant had failed to perform the accounting services for which he was hired…” the suit states.

The plaintiffs allege the defendant negligently and carelessly failed to properly file quarterly and end of the year taxes, failed to file a partnership return, failed to advise the plaintiffs that he had not properly filed the proper quarterly and year end income tax returns, and failed to file proper partnership returns.

As a result, the plaintiffs allegedly suffered damages in terms of back taxes, penalties and interest in a sum in excess of $100,000.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 20-L-105

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Chatham & Baricevic