June 17, 2009
Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807
McCulloch Warns Montana Businesses of Potential Customer Service Scam
Click the image above for the complete letter from Secretary of State Linda McCulloch to Montana businesses.
HELENA, MT – Secretary of State Linda McCulloch today warned Montana businesses of a potentially dangerous national scam targeting those individuals seeking to outsource the processing of their company’s annual minutes.
McCulloch assured Montana’s business owners that the Office of the Secretary of State is not aware of any local victims of the scam, but she advised them to research the source of all official-looking customer service proposals.
“These folks are soliciting money from businesses in a number of states, and I want to ensure that Montanans have the information they need to protect themselves from any potential danger,” McCulloch says. “As far as I know, Montana hasn’t been impacted, but I’m keeping a close eye on the case as it develops.”
Recent Developments in the Case:
Businesses in a few states, including Indiana and Colorado, have received solicitation letters that are made to appear as though they come from an official government source. Two known sources are "Indiana Corporate Compliance Business Division" and “Colorado Corporate Compliance Business Division." In all cases, the letters attempt to secure a payment in exchange for processing a company's annual minutes.
In a multi-state investigation, the Office of the Secretary of State of Indiana tracked down the proposed individuals behind these letters. Aaron V. Williams of Las Vegas and Lisa Diane Brown of California appear to be affiliated with several businesses including "Indiana Corporate Compliance." The results of the investigation were shared with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who recently filed a complaint against Williams, Brown and their businesses. If the state of Indiana prevails, these individuals could receive fines of over $1.5 million and be barred from doing business in some states.
“If this scam penetrates our borders, I will immediately contact the Attorney General’s office to investigate,” McCulloch wrote in her letter. “In the meantime, please exercise caution if your business receives any questionable letters soliciting customer service.”
Secretary of State Linda McCulloch’s warning to businesses is available online at sos.mt.gov.