Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced that Marion County Superior Court has issued a permanent injunction against Indiana Corporate Compliance, International Corporate Compliance Inc. and Papillon Global Marketing LLC, requiring those companies to stop misrepresenting themselves as a government agency to Indiana business owners.
The injunction requires the companies to immediately stop sending any written notices or transmissions that could reasonably be interpreted as a compliance notice from a government entity.
In May, the attorney general’s office filed a complaint against the companies – most commonly known as Indiana Corporate Compliance – alleging multiple violations of Indiana’s Deceptive Commercial Solicitation Act. Individuals Aaron V. Williams and Lisa Diane Brown, both of California, were also named in the lawsuit.
Indiana Corporate Compliance had been sending letters to businesses all over Indiana under the guise of the Business Services Division of Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s office, citing a fictitious state law implying businesses were required to send up to $150 for record keeping services.
“The hazard this company poses to Indiana businesses is imminent and the courts did the right thing by recognizing that fact and granting the injunction. These companies can not continue to misrepresent themselves as a legal operation,” Zoeller said.
The Secretary of State’s office, which registers and certifies Indiana businesses, began an investigation as a result of complaints it received from businesses. A hearing will be scheduled to determine the total amount of damages, which could be awarded to those who were victims of the scam. At least 300 Indiana businesses received letters over a period of two years from Indiana Corporate Compliance and its affiliates.
Recipients of the letters reported believing the compliance notices were generated by a government agency and were misleading and confusing. As a result, the court found it reasonable that business owners would be confused and would comply with the notice.
State law requires periodic business entity reporting, but fees are only $30 every two years for for-profit entities and $10 every year for non-profit organizations. No business has reported receiving any services from Indiana Corporate Compliance.
After learning about the scam, Secretary of State Rokita issued warnings through the media, sent e-mails to Indiana businesses and posted warnings on his Web page to ignore the letter. Businesses wishing to check the validity of any mailing from the Indiana Secretary of State’s Business Services Division should contact the division online at www.in.gov/sos/business/.
To file a consumer complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s office, visit www.IndianaConsumer.com or call 1-800-382-5516.
Source: Indiana Attorney General’s Office
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