Contact: Jim Gavin
An investigation conducted by the Secretary of State prompts Attorney General lawsuit against the companies for defrauding Indiana businesses
(INDIANAPOLIS) " Indiana Corporate Compliance, International Corporate Compliance, Inc. and Papillon Global Marketing, LLC are no longer allowed to misrepresent themselves as a government agency to Indiana business owners Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced today. The Marion County Superior Court issued a permanent injunction requiring 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 collaborative effort between the Secretary of State's office and the Office of the Attorney General was an effective and necessary approach to protect Hoosiers and prevent fraud in Indiana."
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 fell victim to the scam. At least 324 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.
"The permanent injunction is an important step forward in our ongoing efforts to prevent Indiana businesses from being deceived,"1 said Secretary Rokita. "Obtaining this judgment is the direct result of the tireless work by my investigators and the cooperation of hundreds of businesses from around the state who were targeted by this scam. My office will continue to make businesses aware of these types of scams, and I thank Attorney General Zoeller and his team for working with us to bring justice through the legal system."
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 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 http://www.indianaconsumer.com/ or call 1-800-382-5516.
Secretary of the State's Office
Media Contact: Jim Gavin: 317.233-8655 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org'subject=Reference%206/30/09%20press%20release.