Bryan Cohen Jul. 3, 2013, 7:44pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi obtained a temporary injunction and asset freeze Tuesday against Florida Center of Corporations for allegedly deceptive and unfair practices.

Florida Center for Corporations and Thomas Fred Jr., the company's owner, allegedly deceived companies by sending them letters that gave the impression the companies needed to pay additional fees to become corporations. In actuality, the companies were already corporations under the Florida Department of State's Division of Corporations.

Bondi filed a lawsuit against Florida Center for Corporations and Fred alleging that more than 12,000 Florida businesses paid fees to the company in response to the deceptive letters.

"My office is committed to protecting Florida's businesses, and this injunction and asset freeze bars the company from engaging in any misconduct that could hurt our state's business community," Bondi said.

The temporary injunction will keep the company and its owner from engaging in any activity that could be interpreted to be an activity performed by a government agency. The injunction also bars the defendants from accepting payments in connection with applications for corporation status and destroying any information in connection to the mailings.

The asset freeze was imposed on all bank accounts and assets under the control of the defendants and bars them from spending, disposing or transferring the assets beyond reasonable and routine purposes and needs.

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