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State Justice Dept. files legal action against alleged scam operators

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state has filed a legal action against the alleged operators of a government paperwork scam that businesses were warned about almost two weeks ago.

The Justice Department said the Mandatory Poster Agency of Michigan got businesses to pay $125 each to have a government form prepared which outlines the minutes of the companies’ annual meetings.

State officials want a judge to stop the solicitations for the forms, and to order fines of $50 to $200 for each violation plus restitution.

The Corporate Records Service allegedly said the form is required by law – but the government says it’s not. The Justice Department said the victimized firms sent their forms to an address in Madison, and they were forwarded to the agency’s headquarters in Lansing Michigan.

The Department of Financial Institutions warned last month that those who filed the documents paid unnecessary fees – and they ran the risk of giving out confidential information.

The Justice Department said some Wisconsin businesses took the bait, but they’re not saying how many.

George Althoff of the Financial Institutions’ agency said his office received about 250 inquiries after the scam alert hit the news media on January 31st.

Wisconsin is not the only state affected. Media reports said the Mandatory Poster Agency has paid over $100,000 over the last 7 years to settle scam allegations in 18 states. 

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