Arizona Says Sneaky Mailer Netted $68,000

PHOENIX (CN) – The Arizona attorney general says a California corporation scammed Arizona businesses with a direct mailer that promised help with filing annual minutes. Attorney General Terry Goddard says Arizona does not require a corporation to file annual minutes, but the “Board of Business Compliance” charged $125 for allegedly “necessary business filing and forms for each company.”

     The “official-looking” mailers included the targeted business’ name and the identification number “assigned to the corporation by the Arizona Corporation Commission,” adding to the impression that the mailer was government-issued, the state claims in Maricopa County Court.
     Goddard says his office received 291 complaints from consumers who found the mailers “deceptive and misleading.”
     Vahe Zakaryan, of Los Angeles, who owns the company, also is named as a defendant.
     Corporations were led to believe that the mailers “required response and payment or the shareholders would not be in compliance with Arizona law and could be held liable for corporate debts and obligations,” Goddard says.
     The company raked in about $68,000 from 552 Arizona corporations, Goddard says. It distributed the mailers from June to November 2008.
     Goddard seeks an injunction, reimbursement and $10,000 fines for each incident of consumer fraud.

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