Many businesses in Pennsylvania and Louisiana have started receiving an official-looking notice telling them that they must file an "Annual Meeting Disclosure Statement" and pay a fee of $125. Don't, it's a scam.
That advice comes from the Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth, Carol Aichele, who is warning Pennsylvania corporations about a bogus mailing some firms have received, leading businesses to believe they must send $payment and statement by a certain date, or risk being listed in "bad standing."
"At first glance, this solicitation may look official," Aichele said. "However, none of the information being requested is required to be filed with the Department of State, or with any private company."
In Pennsylvation, the mailing comes from a company called Pennsylvania Corporate Compliance Company, in Louisiana, the mailing is coming from the Louisiana Corporate Compliance Company. It reportedly includes a direct citation from the Pennsylvania or Louisiana corporate law near the top of the letter regarding corporate records. It may also have been occuring in other states.
Despite the suggestive language and official look of the mailing, Aichele emphasized there is no filing called an Annual Meeting Disclosure Statement required in Pennsylvania, and Louisiana businesses have been told the same thing. She added this mailing did not come from any government office, and Pennsylvania Corporate Compliance Company has no association with state government.
"Any official notices sent to businesses by the Pennsylvania Department of State or Secretary of the Commonwealth will contain the letterhead and/or contact information for the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations," Aichele said. She advised any companies receiving this mailing to disregard it. She also said similar scams have been reported in other states.
Any business that has questions can call the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations at 717-787-1057, or email the bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses receiving this mailing can also contact the U.S. Postal Inspections Service to report mail fraud at 877-876-2455, or at http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx. Any company that has sent money because of this scam can contact the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General Bureau of Consumer Protection at www.attorneygeneral.gov/complaints.aspx?id+451.