state Corporate Compliance fraud

by Bruce Brown | 38 Comments

Corporate Compliance *scam*HA! They almost got me! I had a $150.00 USD check ready made out to “Corporate Compliance”. The envelope was wet with my spit and just about to be sealed until I read the print in bold at the bottom:

Requirement code 3001. This is a Solicitation for the order of goods or services, or both, and not a bill, invoice, or statement of account due. You are under no obligation to make any payment on account of the offer unless you accept the offer. Requirement B&P Code 17533.6This Product or service has not been approved or endorsed by any government agency, and this offer is not being made by an agency of the government..

Translation: You don’t HAVE to send us money.. we are not affiliated with the government.. we just want your money.. our service is that we are asking for money. *SCAM*

Annually, I have to file documents to keep my corporation compliant with state & federal law. Although I know this is something that can be done online with my state (Colorado), I usually procrastinate until I completely forget about it. So it is convenient to get the occasional mail reminding me to file. The state usually send a post card with a reminder and a link to their .gov site. The “Office of Corporate Compliance” sends a message telling you the importance of filing your “Annual Corporate Minutes”. They offer to do it for $175 (check or money order). The only problem is that states don’t require minutes filed with them. You are supposed to keep minutes, and other corporate records.. but they are not submitted anywhere. My state requires a re-statement of my Articles of Incorporation (annually over the ‘Net).

I’ll hand it to them, “Office of Corporate Compliance” seal looks authentic at the glance. Once I found out that this was indeed a scam, I realized that they could be doing this in EVERY single state and making a small fortune. If you Google it, you’ll see that they really are doing it all over the nation. They’ve probably been doing it for years.

My question is, how and why has this been allowed to flourish. Each state puts out some sort of can response about it:

Recently, an entity calling itself “[STATE] Corporate Compliance” mailed solicitations entitled “Annual Corporate Minutes Compliance Filing” to numerous [state] corporations. This solicitation offers to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of the corporation for a fee. Despite the implications contained in the solicitation, [state] corporations are not required by law to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State.

Why can’t the state governments come down on this 50 state scam? Perhaps “Corporate Compliance” wording is such that there is nothing the states or any other government can do ANYTHING about.

Heres how I think their scam works:

1) They set up a P.O. Box in each state with corresponding state header on envelops and letters.
2) Search each states corporate data base for corporations with the status (delinquent or non-compliant.. this means the corp. in question did not restate their annual articles of incorporation.)
3) They send the appropriate state letter to the delinquent corporations
4) The corporation pays and send to the P.O. Box that is already typed on the self addressed envelop inside
5) The P.O. Box forwards to the real address of the creators of this system (or franchisers)

Reverse PO Box Lookup
US Post offices will disclose the forwarding location of corporate entities PO Box. So I think I will do one and advertise them right here on this site. I think that there is only one company (or group) behind this mail fraud.

Who is Corporate Compliance Filings, Inc?
I did a Google search for the company and came up with only one organization named Corporate Compliance, the name The Office of Corporate Compliance asked to be put on the checks. The only way they can cash the check is to have an actual corporate entity. Here it is: http://www.corporatecompliance.com/ –> Although there should be a crime against having a terribly shitty 90’s site, I can’t yet pin the scam to these guys… I simply don’t have any evidence at all pointing to this particular site.

When I did a search on the New York business database (where this 90’s Internet Corporate Compliance is from) I noticed that their were two entities with that name: CORPORATE COMPLIANCE FILINGS INC. (foreign entity) & CORPORATE COMPLIANCE LTD (domestic). But then I noticed that Corporate Compliance Filings Inc. is also in the California business database, Colorado business database and all the others.. each one does not list other entities or foreign entity as the registered agents in an attempt to avoiding naming individuals.

If you search the databases you’ll see that they use: CORPORATE COMPLIANCE FILINGS INC., Corporation Compliance Recorder, CORPORATE COMPLIANCE CENTER

Colorado Corporate Compliance

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has recently become aware that an additional entity, “California Corporate Services”, has mailed solicitations titled “Annual Minutes Disclosure Statement” to businesses in Colorado. These solicitations are similar to those mailed to businesses by “Colorado Corporate Compliance” and “Board of Business Compliance” titled “Annual Minutes Disclosure Statement” or “Disclosure Statement”. These solicitations offer to process corporate meeting minutes on behalf of the corporation for a fee. Despite the implications contained in the solicitations, Colorado corporations are not required by law to file corporate minutes with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

California Corporate Compliance

In very fine print, the document usually has a disclaimer, such as:

“CA Business & Professions Code Sec 17533.6 This service has

not been approved or endorsed by any government agency, and

this offer is not being made by an agency of the government.”

California Corporate Headquarters, Compliance Division

California Addresses:

CALIFORNIA CORPORATE COMPLIANCE
Business Division
3053 Freeport Blvd #310
Sascramento, CA 94518

State Corporate Compliance
916 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-2703
form was 4780C

Corporate Compliance Filings
9175 Keifer Blvd # 336
Sacramento, CA 95826

California Corporate Headquarters
Compliance Division
2443 Fair Oaks Boulevard #539
Sacramento, CA 95825
CA-FORM AMDS-03

Massachusetts Corporate Compliance

Recently, an entity calling itself “Massachusetts Corporate Compliance” mailed solicitations entitled “Annual Corporate Minutes Compliance Filing” to numerous Massachusetts corporations. This solicitation offers to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of the corporation for a fee. Despite the implications contained in the solicitation, Massachusetts corporations are not required by law to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State.

Georgia Corporate Compliance

Secretary of State Handel Alerts Corporations to Potential Scam

Atlanta, GA—Recently, an entity calling itself “Georgia Corporate Compliance” mailed solicitations entitled “Annual Minutes Disclosure Statement” to numerous Georgia corporations. This solicitation offers to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of the Georgia corporation for a fee. Despite the implications contained in the solicitation, Georgia corporations are not required by law to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State.

New York Corporate Compliance


Texas Corporate Compliance

Recently, an entity calling itself “State Corporate Compliance” mailed solicitations entitled “Annual Corporate Minutes Compliance Filing” to numerous Texas business entities. This solicitation offers to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of the Texas business entities for a fee. Despite the implications contained in the solicitation, Texas business entities are not required by law to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State.

Oregon Corporate Compliance

Better Business Bureau takes a look at Corporate Compliance

38 Comments on state Corporate Compliance fraud

  1. Laura
    October 15, 2008 at 11:21 pm (11 years ago)

    Perhaps, since individual states are not doing anything about this scamming company, it might be best to bring the letters to the attention of the Postmaster General- If it qualifies as a postal scam (which is likely), then it will be dealt with appropriately.
    Businesses need to be aware that this company states that any information furnished WILL REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF Corporate Compliance…..what they intend to do with a corporation’s minutes, and information on who its officers are, etc. is questionable, to say the least!

    Reply
  2. Laura
    October 15, 2008 at 11:59 pm (11 years ago)

    This company has these people listed, but location of company is not disclosed- private registration of domain thru Network Solutions.

    Administrative Contact:
    Richmond, William and

    Technical Contact:
    Buchanan, Jordyn A.

    The sad part is that they’ve had their domain name since Jan 30, 1997, and are paid up until Jan. 31, 2017 They obviously plan on being around a while!

    My guess is they are out of L.A. area, (as that is where the one I received stated the pre-sorted first class postage was paid from for these letters- even tho on the one I received it gave Denver address as its return address.

    Reply
  3. Laura
    October 16, 2008 at 1:08 am (11 years ago)

    This is on their webpage:

    Corporate Compliance, Ltd.
    152 Kentview Drive
    Carmel, NY 10512
    Telephone: (845)225-6822
    Fax: (845)225-3930

    President, William J. Richmond
    Corporate Compliance, Ltd:
    Introducing our President,
    William J. Richmond.

    Bill Richmond is a retired Special Agent with 27 years experiencewith the Internal Revenue Services Criminal InvestigationDivision. He has extensive experience in forensic accounting and has enjoyed a long and distinguished career investigating fraud, corruption and other financial crimes.

    During his years with the IRS, Mr. Richmond investigated income tax violations, political corruption,conspiracy, narcotics-related money laundering and violationsof the Bank Secrecy Act.

    Mr. Richmond also lectures on the subjects of fraud awareness and financial investigative techniques to the N.Y. State Department of Law, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Certified Fraud Examiners Association, the American Bankers Association and IRS Special Agents. He also taught accounting at Midwestern State University and was a course developer and instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at various times from 1976 until his retirement from government service in 1994.

    Mr. Richmond holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from ManhattanCollege as well an M.B.A. in Business Organization andManagement from Midwestern State University and an MS in Criminal Justice from Long Island University. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner and is enrolled to practice beforethe Internal Revenue Service.

    In addition, Mr. Richmond has been qualified as an expert witness inmatters concerning the Bank Secrecy Act, money laundering and financial crimes in both state and federal courts.

    He is the author of a recent article, entitled “An Overview of the Use of Reporting Mechanisms Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines”, which was published in the PREVENTIVE LAW REPORTER.

    Email Us Corporate Compliance, Ltd.
    152 Kentview Drive
    Carmel NY 10512
    Telephone: (845)225-6822
    Fax: (845)225-3930

    Return
    to the
    Main Page

    Web Site Designed by The Village Web SmithsTM
    Bringing the Power of the World Wide Web to Your Small Business.

    Text copyright 1997 by William J. Richmond and Michele C. Petitt. Graphics copyright March 1997 by Michele C. Petitt and the Village Web Smiths. The Fraud Detector is a Trademark of Corporate Compliance, Ltd. The Anvil and Keyboard Logo is a Trademark of The Village Web Smiths.
    DISCLAIMER:
    The contents of this web site are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Please consult a professional for assistance with your particular situation.

    One might do some investigating to see if this website ( and these people) is connected to the Corporate Compliance letters being sent to businesses in several states….. a person can state whatever on a webpage or brouchure- it does not mean it is factual….

    Colorado Secretary of State office has this on their website:
    If you receive a notice that refers to “Annual Minutes Disclosure Statement” or “Disclosure Statement” , please contact the Business Division immediately by e-mailing us at: business@sos.state.co.us or you may call 303-894-2200 and select option 2. The Business Division may request a copy of the notice, which can be faxed to 303-869-4864. Please keep the original notice, mailing envelope and return envelope for your records.
    Hope this is helpful to anyone receiving these letters!

    Reply
  4. foobar
    October 24, 2008 at 1:45 pm (11 years ago)

    I was just about to send my check in and thought “this is wierd” i’ve never gotten one of these before and found your site… good thing.

    i just sent emails to some friends @ dateline NBC and 9news in colorado. What a scam

    Reply
  5. Barbara Backurz
    October 25, 2008 at 6:14 pm (11 years ago)

    I’d like to see these guys behind bars. I’m delivering my letter to the US postal service and our police department. This type of mail fraud is unacceptable and I’ll be happy to assist postal or government officials put these people behind bars. Looks like they may have been in business for some time.

    I find it hard to believe that the people behind this this type of fraud can not be identified and held accountable for their actions. Shame on us.

    Barb

    Reply
  6. pat
    December 4, 2008 at 1:26 pm (11 years ago)

    Unfortunately when I receive anything from the state or IRS requesting money or info, I always give it to them. And unfortunately I sent the payment before I heard that it was a bogus request. Now I am concerned about identity theft and have closed my account, reopened a new one and have spent numerous hours doing so as well as changing my credit card processing account, paypal, etc….. The red flags were there, but my experience with trying to call the State and actually talk to a live person has been less than positive so I didn’t even try. It never occured to me to google corporate compliance….shame on me for not listening to that inner voice telling me that it wasn’t right…

    Reply
  7. Scottie nicholas
    January 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm (10 years ago)

    just almost did the same almost sent 150.00 and a copy of corp. minutes….hold on never had to do that before. Just filed a complaint to the Colorado Sec. of states office. Colorado Compliance Recorder should be held responsible and have to pay back all the poor folks that have been had.
    Scottie
    ps thanks to all of you and your information.

    Reply
  8. Bill
    January 28, 2009 at 8:36 pm (10 years ago)

    I just received one of these in the mail and immediately went “WTF? When did *this* become a Colorado requirement?” I read the document and was a bit surprised and then looked at the envelope – Business Mail – This is not a government document. My wife had just got to the bold text section at the bottom that you pointed out at the beginning of the post. Glad I double-checked with Google, found your post, and can feel comfortable circular filing the bad boy. 🙂

    Reply
  9. karin brueckner
    January 29, 2009 at 7:47 am (10 years ago)

    I almost wrote a check out too! But I googled it and found this website! Total scam! I’m a fairly skeptical person, so I’m sure many people do send the check! I will also file a complaint with Secretary of State’s office.

    Reply
  10. Kateri
    January 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm (10 years ago)

    THANK YOU!!! for posting this warning. When my little voices went off about this letter, I decided to GOOGLE it to see if anything showed up. Saved me $150. I’m sending this to 9news.

    Reply
  11. Manuel S.
    January 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm (10 years ago)

    Same here.

    Received Annual Minutes Disclosure Statement from
    Colorado Compliance Recorder
    Administrative Clerk Division
    PO BOX 44449
    Denver, CO 80201-4449

    I hate these scams with a passion… besides that statement in Italics, they absolutely make it look like you are required to send $150. Those bastards…

    Reply
  12. dan
    January 30, 2009 at 9:42 am (10 years ago)

    I just got one of these yesterday. I went to bed last night planning to send the form and payment. For some reason, when I woke up this morning I thought it might be fraudulent. Maybe something to do with the request for “manes and addresses” — and that fact that all state forms I’ve received before can be filed online

    Reply
  13. Cathie
    January 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm (10 years ago)

    We had already sent out the check when we first heard of this. We put a stop payment on the check. Well we received another one today. What is it going to take to get rid of the scammers?

    Reply
  14. Tiffany Fodor
    January 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm (10 years ago)

    Thanks so much for your post. I just got the same notice – looks very official. I was about to call the Colorado Secretary of State when I decided to google ‘Colorado Compliance Recorder’.

    I’m going to file a complaint with the Secretary of State and let 9news know about it too.

    Reply
  15. Rae Jean
    January 31, 2009 at 6:39 am (10 years ago)

    Same as above! They really make it look like it has to be paid. The fine print about accepting the offer set me off and thats when I checked the computer and found this. Thanks for the good info. I will report them to the Secretary of State as well.

    Reply
  16. SAndy
    January 31, 2009 at 10:29 am (10 years ago)

    Thanks for posting this warning! This stuff looks official unless you actually READ the whole letter. You then realize you are being scammed and that made me angry! I also decided to google Colorado Compliance Recorder and found your site. Thanks for putting the word out.
    I amforwarding my letter to anyone who will take it!

    Reply
  17. JOE ACKERMAN
    January 31, 2009 at 11:19 am (10 years ago)

    THANKS TO GOOGLE INFO ON THIS MINUTES DISCLOSURE FRAUD, WE HAD PAPERWORK OUT AND READY TO SIGN AND SEND PAYMENT, BUT NOW HAVE DECIDED TO RETURN BLANK PAPERWORK ALONG WITH $150.00 IN MONOPOLY GAME MONEY TO SENDER.

    Reply
  18. Jeff
    February 1, 2009 at 8:28 am (10 years ago)

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write about these guys. What a bunch of losers….all I can say is what comes around goes around. Sorry to all those who sent money on – fortunately I was not one…close but not sent….

    Reply
  19. Rebecca Woulfe
    February 1, 2009 at 8:42 am (10 years ago)

    Thank you!! Saved me $150 too!

    Reply
  20. Dina
    February 1, 2009 at 2:12 pm (10 years ago)

    I received this notice last week and was getting ready to pay the $150, but decided to Google it first. I’m a new corporation (less than one year old) and would not have been any the wiser to the fraudulent mailing. The notice confused me when it mentioned it was a solicitation. Thanks for posting this clarification and saving me $150.

    Reply
  21. Marie Robertson
    February 2, 2009 at 10:55 am (10 years ago)

    Thank you for posting this warning as I was also about to write a check, then I thought of just seeking it as to why I had to pay this. Then I called them for explaination and used the number on the form. They said they would have someone else call me back as they were an answering service. Then I checked online and found this blog, and called the number back and told them I would be reporting them. Their response was uh, okay.
    Thank you for saving me also!

    Reply
  22. Mary
    February 3, 2009 at 7:17 am (10 years ago)

    Good morning and thanks for putting this webpage up. I had just sat down to write the check and could not ever remembering doing this as I do set my records upo on email alert. The seal on the letter looked funky and my gut said, google them and see what you come up with and here you are. Thanks, you saved me $150.00 of hard earned money!!! Wish these scammers would get a real job but guess this is too lucrative with those that don’t check, for them to stop.

    Reply
  23. Philip Clancy
    February 3, 2009 at 3:50 pm (10 years ago)

    This IS fraud. They are playing the percentages to see if they can get businesses to send them money for nothing.

    I’m calling the Postmaster at the P. O. Box 300461, Denver 80203 station and offering to send over a pdf of the scam.

    They should confiscate all of the mail and use it as evidence against this group. Please keep looking to find the individuals behind this.

    I didn’t come close to falling for this scam, but it is so outrageous that it merits a few minutes of good citizenship to lock the rascals up.

    Reply
  24. Philip Clancy
    February 3, 2009 at 4:01 pm (10 years ago)

    I have now sent documentation of this fraud to the Postmaster of the Capitol Hill Post Office Station (Donald R. Stanley) for their review and action.

    Reply
  25. Jeanette
    February 4, 2009 at 11:17 am (10 years ago)

    I had already started to fill out the letter…then i decided to google it. I then photo copied my hand flipping the bird…cut out the offending finger…taped the words compliance fraud in the cut out..and im mailing it to them. I had some free time this morning..and decided to make it more fun. Not professional?..I know..but neither is this scam. (i cut out the middle finger part so its not really that bad) (right?) ahhahahahah

    Reply
  26. Accountant
    February 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm (10 years ago)

    Several clients have gotten this ready to send off money, lucky i told them not to. There is a number to reach customer service for Colorado Compliance Recorder. Everyone should call and tell them what they think about their company. 1-888-325-1414

    Reply
  27. Concerned Citizen
    February 5, 2009 at 2:10 pm (10 years ago)

    NOTE NOTE NOTE
    REPORT this to the USPS Fraud Division. Do it now!
    Your state attorney general should be copied.

    Reply
  28. BGCH
    February 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm (10 years ago)

    Fill the return envelope with plenty of other junk mail and send it back with no postage so they have to pay the postage 🙂 The more in the envelope = more cost to them 🙂

    Reply
  29. Charlie
    March 10, 2009 at 8:50 am (10 years ago)

    I checked all over the form and I didn’t find any word “solicitation”. I am sure now that this is a scam. What if another letter like this asking for over due. Someone mentioned that those scammers must have checked that we didn’t file the Minutes Disclosure to the States, how can we fill our hole so that they have no chance to scam us! Please let me know if we should file something and we didn’t.
    I check their 1-800 number and find your site. Thanks very much! They look like very Official but I found nothing that is LA CITY. My business is in El Monte and I was wondering why LA ask me for the money. I feel so good for saving $150, but still worrying what would come next. Just want to make sure this is a scam. Well, since all of you saying so.

    Reply
  30. Charlie
    March 10, 2009 at 8:55 am (10 years ago)

    I found the words adimitting that they are soliciting.

    Reply
  31. whencat
    March 25, 2009 at 1:51 pm (10 years ago)

    More scam Alert:

    form NY-2009
    corporate Records Compliance Office
    Notice of Annual Minutes Compliance
    Incorporation date: 4/13/1998
    Secretary of state No.: 2248921
    CRCO File No.: 2145071NYN1
    Return no later than: 04/08/2009

    Letter requests you to file your company officers’ names etc., certificate of minutes etc.; mail check for $120.00 or warns you of dire consequences.

    To save space, the full contents of the letter is not being shown.

    One colums in bold capitals says: THIS SERVICE HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED OR ENDORSED BY ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY AND THIS OFFER IS NOT BEING MADE BY AN AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT. THIS IS NOT A BILL.
    Elsewhere it states: PARTICIPATION IN THE SERVICES OFFERED BY CRCO IS VOLUNTARY AND ELECTIVE.
    Address on return envelope is:
    corprate Records Compliance Office, 125 Wolf Rd. Ste #306,, Albany , NY 12205

    Reply
  32. john doe
    April 17, 2009 at 3:25 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m going to send them $150 of Monopoly money from my kids game.

    Reply
  33. Craig
    June 9, 2009 at 8:57 am (10 years ago)

    Got one of these today in Georgia and it took all of around 4 seconds to recognize this for what it was. Doesn’t anyone read the fine print anymore? Seriously…so many of you were about to send these people money? Just like that? Because they told you to? Wow. Just wow.

    Glad so many of you were astute enough to look it up anyway. It’s breathtaking just how gullible so many people seem to be. P.T. Barnum’s moldering corpse must have a smile a mile wide right now.

    Reply
  34. Ray - JARS Electric Corporation
    June 29, 2009 at 9:21 am (10 years ago)

    Having been in business since 1991, and having no recallection of sending CRCO a check before, I thought it best to Goggle them ….. looking for a scam alert, and I’m glad I did.

    I find it unfortunate that it’s far easier to research this scammer by Googling & looking for fellow recipients, than it is to find a knowledgeable & responsive Governmental Agency we could turn to.

    I do plan to notify my County Attorney General, as the Scammer may hold a Putnam County address in Carmel, NY.. How far that will go…. we can only hope!

    Reply
  35. Marci
    October 8, 2009 at 11:41 pm (10 years ago)

    We received a similar scam in California. It looks so authentic, it nearly got me, and we've been in business five years, during which I've seen plenty of attempts. The letter we received looks eerily similar to the legitimate annual information form the state sends to corporations. This solicitation came from some entity called "Business Filings Division," and asks for $235.00. Wow. The real annual fee is $25, payable to the state.

    Reply
  36. Jake
    November 11, 2012 at 10:40 am (7 years ago)

    Just got the same thing but did not fall for it.
    Return address on the enclosed envelope was:
    COMPLIANCE SERVICES
    3531 S. Logan ST. Unit D
    POSTAL MAIL BOX 340
    ENGLEWOOD, CO 80113-3700
    Fee was $125 to be made out to COMPLIANCE SERVICES"
    Will submit this to USPS fraud office!

    Reply

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