Terry Goddard (D)
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline) – Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has filed suit against Vahe Zakaryan, 45, of Glendale, Calif., accusing him of using deceptive business practices in operating his "Board of Business Compliance."
The suit charges that the Board of Business Compliance misled corporations with solicitations mailed between July and November 2008, garnering Zakaryan $68,000 from 552 Arizona businesses. The mailings claimed that the corporations were required to pay $125 in fees for the preparation of annual minutes "or the shareholders would not be in compliance with Arizona law, and could be held liable for corporate debts and obligations."
Enclosed were official-looking forms bearing the "Corporation Number" assigned to the company by the Arizona Corporation Commission. The return address was a private mail box at a Phoenix UPS store.
The lawsuit alleges that the the Board of Business Compliance violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by operating under a fictitious name mimicking the name of a government entity and by misleading businesses into making payments to comply with a nonexistent Arizona law.
Goddard is asking the court to order Zakaryan to refrain from violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act and operating or soliciting any future business services in Arizona. He is also requesting that Zakaryan pay full restitution to all Arizona businesses victimized by the scam, pay the State of Arizona a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation, and reimburse the Attorney General's Office for its costs of investigation and legal fees.
"I am committed to fighting scam artists who target legitimate Arizona businesses," Goddard said. "Business owners completed the Board of Business Compliance form and paid the fee in good faith, believing it was required by law, only to end up lining the pockets of an individual who provided no service whatsoever."