Emily Moore Oct. 6, 2015, 10:26am


RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) - A Florida-based liability company has settled a lawsuit alleging violations of Virginia's criminal false advertising statute and failure to obtain the correct registration to transact business in the state, Attorney General Mark Herring announced.

Annual Business Services, or ABS, allegedly violated the statute by sending advertisements that appear to come from a government source, implying that if services are not purchased the business would be committing a violation.

The ads also stated Virginia limited liability companies are subject to the Virginia Stock Corporation Act’s annual meeting and minutes requirements, which is false.

"Unfortunately, many companies that rely on direct solicitation hold themselves out as official government agents, leading businesses and individuals to pay for services they don't want, don't need or even things they could get for free," Herring said in a recent statement.

"We're not going to tolerate this kind of misleading and deceptive advertising in Virginia. Folks need to be very suspicious when they receive these kinds of notices and look for indications that a letter is actually a sales pitch and not an official notice."

According to the lawsuit, ABS used targeted direct mailings and obtained about $15,800 from Virginia businesses.

The settlement states ABS is prohibited from future violations and must provide a registration to do future business in Virginia.

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