She's the tough-talking "Tax Lady" who promised on late-night TV commercials to slug it out with the feds on behalf of her cash-strapped clients.
She's the end-of-the-litter kid who scrapped with her five brothers on the baseball diamond and wasn't afraid to throw a punch.
But nationally known tax attorney Roni Lynn Deutch is now in the fight of her life, for her reputation and possibly her freedom.
The embattled attorney – accused by the state of ripping off thousands of her clients – said she had closed her law firm on Thursday and would surrender her law license on Monday to the California State Bar.
"It's a sad, miserable day at my law firm," a defiant Deutch said, addressing reporters in a news conference outside her North Highlands offices on Thursday. "I've represented 20,000 taxpayers; 4,000 existing clients will soon be without legal representation. I am totally, completely broke."
She denied the allegations levied against her by the state. "I am not the monster the attorney general has made me out to be," she said.
Deutch said her firm is in debt for $10 million, and she has personal debts of another $5 million.
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