Fla. Businesses Warned Not to Fall for Fake Solicitation

April 13, 2005

Florida’s Attorney General Charlie Crist has warned businesses to be on the alert for a scam in which they receive a solicitation for funds, supposedly from the Florida Secretary of State’s office.

The solicitation by the Corporate Compliance Center requests payment of a $100 fee in accordance with Florida statutes. Crist said that the CCC is not affiliated with the secretary of state’s office in any way.

The statute cited by CCC does govern requirements for businesses to keep annual minutes, but does not require that these minutes — nor a $100 fee — be submitted to any outside entity, including the secretary of state’s office, Crist says. As part of the scam, businesses are asked to submit the minutes and a check made payable to CCC.

“The solicitations appear to be authentic, but are nothing more than a sham,” Crist said. Anyone who might question whether an agency of the government can require the payment of funds should contact that agency before writing a check.”

An investigation revealed that similar acts occurred in Arizona and California in 2002. The attorney general’s office now has launched an investigation in Florida. Any Florida business owner who believe they have been a victim should call the fraud hotline toll-free at 1-866-966-7226.

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