TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network – Attorney …

TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network – Attorney General Charlie Crist today issued a consumer alert cautioning Florida business owners against variations on a scam that involves deceptive marketing of corporate minutes services. Crist issued the advisory while announcing that his office has stopped the practice of a California business that used deceptive tactics to lure Florida corporations into buying corporate minutes documents from the company.

The company, calling itself Florida Corporate Headquarters, sent out official looking forms, similar to those sent out by the Florida Department of State, that told businesses they could be liable for corporate debts simply by failing to keep proper corporate minutes. The mailing included a demand for $150 for in exchange for compiling corporate minutes reports.
The deception was furthered by the company’s use of the official seal of the State of Florida on the envelopes containing the statement. Crist’s office began investigating the company three weeks ago.

“Companies will not be allowed to trick businesses into paying a fee they are not required to pay,” said Crist. “Florida’s good corporate citizens do not deserve to be penalized for wanting to do the right thing.”

According to an agreement Crist’s office reached with the company, all Florida corporations that paid for the unnecessary service will have their money returned to them. The Attorney General’s office has been authorized by the company to directly receive all the checks as they are delivered to the company’s Tallahassee address and to return them to the businesses that sent them. To date, the Attorney General has received $31,400 in checks that will be returned to Florida businesses and more checks will be returned as they are received by Crist’s office.

After the Attorney Genera’s Office launched its investigation, the company and its owner, Ronna Green, agreed to cooperate and return the checks to all businesses that had already sent the $150 fee. The company further agreed to stop using the practices that led to Floridians being victimized and reimbursed the taxpayers for the cost of the state’s investigation. Business owners who believe they were defrauded by the company can call Crist’s fraud hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226.)

The investigation into Florida Corporate Headquarters is one of several similar probes the Attorney General’s Office has conducted within the past two years. Last year, the Attorney General settled a lawsuit against one such company, Corporate Compliance Center, over allegations that the company misled Florida businesses relating to the sale of corporate minutes reports and signed agreements with two other companies, Corporate Minutes Compliance Service and Corporate Minute Services. All three companies agreed to stop their deceptive practices in Florida.

A copy of the agreement with Florida Corporate Headquarters is available at:
http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/JFAO-6VJKGU/$file/FlCorporateAVC.pdf

A copy of the documents sent by the company is available at:
http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/JFAO-6VJKHB/$file/FlCorporateNotice.pdf

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