TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa man finally has his tax refund from last year after a Better Call Behnken investigation into where his $2,650 refund went.
Jose Martinez is thrilled to finally have the money the IRS issued to him last May.
“I thought it was a letter but when I opened it, it was a check and I got so excited and said, ‘Call Shannon, call Shannon that we got the check,'” Martinez said.
Martinez called us for help when he ran into roadblocks with GGM Financial Services owner Gregory Marcellus. Martinez says Marcellus convinced him to let him handle his refund through a third-party bank. Marcellus claimed it would be more secure.
After Better Call Behnken got involved last week, Marcellus said only he could give Martinez access to his money, and only if he would agree to let him take out $800 for fees. That’s after he was told the money dwindled away in a California bank from $2,650 to $2,250.
It all started last year when Martinez hired GGM Financial Services, on Nebraska Avenue, to file his taxes. Martinez was behind and needed to file three years’ worth of taxes. He knew he’d owe some from a previous year, but even with that, his refund was $2,650.
He got nothing and then said he got the run around from GGM’s Marcellus.
“He called me and said, ‘Oh, Jose, I haven’t received your check, but I received my part. They already paid me, so I don’t know where your money’s at,'” Martinez recalled.
The day after our story aired, Marcellus sent a check for the full amount via certified mail to Martinez.
“I am so happy,” he said. “I never would have received the money if you had not gotten involved.”
A representative for the bank involved, TPG Bank, tells Better Call Behnken they investigated and found that they sent Marcellus all of the money as soon as they received it in May. It was his responsibility to send the money to Martinez, the spokesman said.