HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says a crackdown on companies doing business illegally in his state saved taxpayers $1.7 million in the last fiscal year.

On Monday, he and Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz made the announcement, celebrating the year-long joint effort against out-of-state companies that failed to register with the State. The $1.7 million was recovered from 600 companies.

"Any consumer cheated or misled by a business knows that these rules are vital to holding lawbreakers accountable -- giving us the legal hook we need to haul them into court or scrutinize compliance," Blumenthal said.

"This record recovery should send a strong message to out-of-state businesses: Opportunities carry obligations and a responsible business assumes both. Proper registration is vital to ensure that a company fulfills any obligations to taxpayers and consumers."

While 600 companies did not play by the rules, Blumenthal said, more than 44,000 did. No legal action has been required, and cases have been closed for all but 25 of the 600 companies that were investigated.

"This step is also imperative to protect the registering corporation, in the event that it must seek court action and relief for any reason," Blumenthal said. "My office will continue to vigorously and vigilantly pursue delinquent businesses to protect the consumers and companies alike."

Fines and penalties collected ranged from $165 to more than $20,000. The amount collected surpassed the aggregate of the pat six fiscal years.

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