Action Report: Liberty Tax Service employees in Gulfport, Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Action Report: Liberty Tax Service employees in Gulfport, Biloxi want to be paid

Employees who worked for Liberty Tax Services in Gulfport and Biloxi say they are owed money and bonuses.  After waiting for months and getting no response from the franchise owners, they contacted WLOX Action Reporter A.J. Giardina. (Photo source: WLOX) Employees who worked for Liberty Tax Services in Gulfport and Biloxi say they are owed money and bonuses.  After waiting for months and getting no response from the franchise owners, they contacted WLOX Action Reporter A.J. Giardina. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Liberty Tax Services is the third largest tax preparation franchise in the United States with more than 4,000 locations. D.C. and Chris Beckett of Springfield, Illinois own the Liberty Tax locations on Dedeaux Road in Gulfport and on Pass Road in Biloxi.

Melissa Stevens says she worked at those locations. Stevens says she and six other employees have been waiting three months to receive their final paychecks.

"I know they haven't paid us our last pay check or bonuses that we're supposed to get at the end of the season," Stevens said. "They told us not to expect to get paid."

Stevens said she tried contacting the franchise owners.

"Neither one of the Becketts - Mr. D.C. Beckett or Chris Beckett - will answer any phone calls, text or emails," Stevens said.

Stevens says she worked hard for that money and needs the cash.

"I mean, the bills don't stop," said Stevens.  "You can't pay the bills, you're just in trouble. We earned it.  I mean we made them money, we made them richer and they can't give us little dribbles of what we gave them?"

The Biloxi office is now open only two days during the week and the Gulfport office is closed until January 2018.

I tried contacting the Becketts. They didn't answer their phones, but I left a message for them to give me call back to get their side of the story.

I also left a message with Liberty Tax Services District Manager Justin Williams. While he didn't respond to my request, Williams contacted the office manager in Biloxi.

Office Manager Joy Catlin told me over the phone that she too has not been paid.

"The local franchise owners have been contacted by the District Manager and they are working with Liberty Tax to secure the money that is owed to the employees through a company loan program and they anticipate payment within the next two working days," Catlin said.

There is a Liberty Tax Service office in Ocean Springs, but that franchise owner has nothing to do with the Becketts. And we have not received any complaints about that Jackson County office.

Copyright 2017 WLOX.  All rights reserved.

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