Bryan Cohen Aug. 15, 2013, 5:27pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and Secretary of State Jason Kander announced a settlement Thursday with a Michigan company that allegedly misled Missouri businesses into buying corporate filing services.

The Mandatory Poster Agency Inc., doing business as Corporate Records Services, and the company's owner, Thomas Fata of Lansing, Mich., sent solicitations to businesses in February offering to prepare and file annual corporate meeting minutes for a $125 fee. The mailings were allegedly designed to look and feel like official government documents and falsely implied that corporations in Missouri required the submission of meeting minutes to the state.

Multiple Missouri corporations contacted Kander's office, which referred the case to Koster's office. Koster filed a lawsuit in April alleging the mailings violated the state's Merchandising Practices Act. The law prohibits deception and false representations in service solicitations.

"I appreciate Secretary Kander's office bringing this case to our attention," Koster said. "We will act quickly to protect Missourians from being tricked into paying for services they don't need."

Under the terms of the agreement, Corporate Records Services and Fata agreed to comply with the state's Merchandising Practices Act, clearly indicate in future solicitations that the company is not affiliated with a government entity, include language in future solicitations that the filing services does not satisfy corporate registration filing requirements, send letters to every Missouri business that received one of the misleading mailings explaining the service did not offer a state legal requirement and offer a full refund to businesses that purchased the service.

Corporate Records Services will also reimburse the state $2,000 for court and attorney costs and pay a $3,000 fine to be deposited in the state's education fund.

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