OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit on Monday against a business poster seller and its top corporate officers for allegedly violating the state's Consumer Protection Act with unfair and deceptive business practices.
Mandatory Poster Agency, doing business as Corporate Records Service, allegedly sent mailings that appeared to be government documents to approximately 60,000 Washington businesses in September 2012. The form was preprinted with the corporation's name and referenced multiple Washington laws. It instructed business owners to send the completed form with a $125 payment to satisfy the annual minutes requirement for the corporation.
The state of Washington does not require Washington corporations to prepare minutes of their shareholder meetings. Corporate Records Service allegedly duped more than 2,900 Washington businesses into paying $125 each.
"People who prey on unsuspecting business owners need to know we will hold them accountable," Ferguson said. "The attorney general's office will make these scammers pay for their actions."
Ferguson's lawsuit seeks $362,500 worth of restitution and civil penalties of $2,000 per violation.
If Mandatory Poster Agency's actions are found to have violated a 2008 agreement it made with Ferguson's office, the company could be liable for additional civil penalties. The company agreed it would not use words or terms with a tendency to mislead recipients that solicitations were from a government agency. Mandatory Poster Agency also agreed not to use words on envelopes or exterior mailings that indicate a solicitation requires mandatory or immediate response.