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Scam Letters Worked for a While, State Says

PHOENIX (CN) - Operating as "Arizona Corporate Headquarters," Gaston and Ronna Muhammad, husband and wife, send businesses an "official-looking" but bogus demand for a "fee of $125 within 15 business days," the State of Arizona claims in Superior Court. The state says 365 businesses have complained about the fraud.

The bogus forms the Muhammads mail out "contain a warning, in boldface capital letters: 'TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE PROCESSING AND FULFILLMENT PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM WITH YOUR PAYMENT TO: ARIZONA CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS-BUSINESS DIVISION' followed by the Phoenix address of a private mailbox used by respondents. Further of the forms is the additional warning that 'failure to comply with certain requirements could cause your corporation to lose its limited liability status,'" the Arizona attorney general says in the complaint.

The scam worked, the state says. "Numerous Arizona businesses" mailed in the money and filled out the form, and 365 of them complained about it to the state.

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