Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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AG Brnovich Obtains Full Restitution for Victims of Annual Minutes Scam

 

PHOENIX - Attorney General Mark Brnovich obtained a consent judgment against Compliance Filings Service for allegedly sending government look-alike “Annual Minutes” mailers to Arizona businesses. The consent judgment requires Compliance Filings Service to pay $88,650 in restitution. All of the 850 Arizona businesses that mailed a check to Compliance Filings Service will have the opportunity to receive a full refund.

“Every business that was tricked into paying $150 can get their money back,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “This is the second time in less than a year that we’ve obtained a full refund for victims of phony government look-alike notices. This judgment sends a strong message that scam mailers will not be tolerated in Arizona.”

Compliance Filings Service allegedly sent over 129,000 deceptive solicitations to Arizona businesses between 2016 and 2017. These solicitations prominently featured the words “Annual Minutes Compliance Notice” in large letters at the top of the page and instructed businesses to pay $150 “to meet the terms of the corporate record requirements” of Arizona law.

In addition to restitution, the consent judgment against Compliance Filings AZ Inc., dba Compliance Filings Service, requires the company and its owners to pay more than $64,000 in civil penalties and more than $19,000 in attorneys’ fees. The judgment also prohibits Compliance Filings Service from mailing any solicitation that suggests its product or service must be purchased to comply with any law. If Compliance Filings Service violates the consent judgment, it will be subject to civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation.

It is important to note that the Arizona Corporation Commission does have an “Annual Report” requirement with which Arizona businesses must comply. The ACC Corporations Division can be contacted at (602) 542-3026 or 1-800-345-5819 (in Arizona only).

The Attorney General’s Office is in the process of mailing notices to Arizona businesses that are believed to be eligible for restitution. Any business that mailed a check after receiving an “Annual Minutes Compliance Notice,” and has not already received a refund, should respond to the notice sent out by the Attorney General’s Office. Consumers can contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the metro areas at (800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General’s website at https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer.

Assistant Attorney General Aaron M. Duell handled this case.

A sample mailer is pictured below: