Goddard sues company behind businesses scam

Ashley Stinnett Oct. 1, 2009, 6:15pm

Terry Goddard (D)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is suing a Nevada-based business over allegations the company violated the state's Consumer Fraud Act.

The lawsuit was filed against Y.M.S. Inc., a Nevada corporation doing business as "Arizona Corporate Headquarters"; Y.M.S. president Gaston Muhammad, 43, of Georgia, and his wife and vice-president of Y.M.S., Ronna Muhammad, also of Georgia.

The complaint alleges the defendants sent an official-looking mailing, sent under the name Arizona Corporate Headquarters, implied that a business had to complete a form and return it with a fee of $125.

The mailer included the corporate ID number of the business as assigned by the Arizona Corporation Commission. It also included a warning that "failure to comply with certain requirements could cause your corporation to lose limited liability status," according to Goddard.

The state alleges the Muhammad's collected more than $350,000 from some 2,800 business owners who responded to the solicitation.

The complaint also alleges the defendants claimed that they would prepare corporate minutes in return for the $125 payment. According to court documents, the defendants only prepared the promised minutes in a very few cases and even then provided only fictitious general minutes for meetings that never occurred.

"This scam takes advantage of business owners who believe they are sending a required form and payment to the Arizona Corporation Commission when all the defendants do is cash the checks," Goddard said.

The state is seeking to stop the defendants from doing business in Arizona or receiving any money from solicitations such as those described in the lawsuit and require the defendants to return the money paid by the victims of the alleged scam and pay a $10,000 fine for each violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

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