RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) -- North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Thursday a court order against a Michigan company that allegedly sent deceptive mailings to North Carolina businesses telling them to pay bogus fees.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning granted a temporary order against the Lansing, Mich.-based The Mandatory Poster Agency, doing business as Corporate Records Services, and the company's owners, Joe Fata, Thomas Fata and Steven Fata.

The order temporarily bars the defendants from sending mailings to and collecting money from North Carolina businesses while the case goes forward.

Cooper filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging Corporate Records Service sent deceptive mailings to North Carolina businesses directing business owners to complete the provided form and send in $125 to comply with state law on taking and filing corporate minutes.

While state law does require corporations to keep records such as minutes of annual reports and shareholder meetings, completing the form mailed by Corporate Records Services does not fulfill the requirements.

"Small business owners across North Carolina are working hard to make it in a still-recovering economy, and the last thing they need is somebody trying to make a fast buck at their expense," Cooper said in a statement.

Corporate Records Services appears to have targeted businesses in multiple states in the past year, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Delaware, Arizona, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Texas.

"Scammers are betting that you'll simply pay these kinds of bogus bills without checking them out first," Cooper said. "Small businesses can avoid scams by making sure they screen invoices and other requests for payment carefully."

More News