Hess Alerts Regional Businesses To Deceptive Solicitation
Rep. Dick Hess (R-Bedford/ Fulton/Huntington) said last week he is alerting businesses in the region to be on the lookout for deceptive solicitations being sent out by two companies asking for information and a fee that is not required by the Pennsylvania Department of State or the secretary of the commonwealth.
“There is a very troubling set of solicitations that have been taking place which set up businesses for a scam. These unscrupulous people ask for a fee for records and information not required by any state government agency, which is shameful,” said Hess.
Hess said the Pennsylvania Department of State has been made aware of solicitations that are being mailed to Pennsylvania businesses from two companies-Pennsylvania Corporate Compliance Co. and Corporate Records Service. These solicitations are titled “Annual Meeting Disclosure Statement, 2013 – Annual Minutes Form, and 2013 Annual Corporate Records Form.” These mailings urge business corporations and limited liability companies to file information and send payment in the amount of $125 by a certain date in order to maintain proper records.
These solicitations include a citation to the Pennsylvania Business Corporation Law regarding corporate records. At first glance, these solicitations may look official; however, none of the information being requested is required to be filed with the Department of State or the secretary of the commonwealth. Pennsylvania corporations and limited liability companies are not required to file corporate minutes with the Department of State or with a private company such as Pennsylvania Corporate Compliance Co. or Corporate Records Service.
Hess said the department is alerting all Pennsylvania business entities of this deceptive solicitation to prevent Pennsylvania businesses from completing the form and sending payment to a mailing center post office box address by the deadline on the form.
Despite the suggestive language on the mailing, the “Annual Meeting Disclosure Statement, the 2013 – Annual Minutes Form” and the “2013 Annual Corporate Records Form” are not required to be completed. These formal-looking letters did not originate from any government office, nor are the Pennsylvania Corporate Compliance Co. and Corporate Records Service affiliated or associated with Pennsylvania state government in any way. Similar scams have been reported in other states.
The “Annual Meeting Disclosure Statement, 2013 - Annual Minutes Form, and 2013 Annual Corporate Records Form” documents should be disregarded by all companies that receive them.
Additionally, please keep in mind that any official notices sent to businesses by the Pennsylvania Department of State or the secretary of the commonwealth’s office will contain the letterhead and/or contact information for the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations. Please contact the Bureau at 717-787-1057 or firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions or concerns regarding these solicitations.
Hess said all communications from state government entities to businesses are done professionally.
“It is unfortunate that there are those who are trying to take advantage of legitimate business owners who work hard to ensure they meet the actual state government requirements that exist,” said Hess. “This cannot, and should not, be tolerated. Please remain alert for this activity.”