Wright: Watch out for LLC annual reporting scams

Please be aware of an LLC annual reporting scam perpetuated by a company calling itself Workplace Compliance Services (WCS). The scam attempts to collect $125 from un-suspecting LLC managers who believe they are fulfilling the Louisian Secretary of State’s (SoS) annual reporting requirement. In reality, however, Workplace Compliance Services is not affiliated with the Secretary of State (nor is it a government agency), so Louisiana LLCs should not file this report nor pay the $125 solicitation fee.

The letter mailed by WCS looks similar to other government documentation, and the document includes an excerpt from the Louisiana statute (R.S. 12:1308.1) mandating an annual report be filed.  However, the fine-print within this document reports Workplace Compliance Services status as a private company and discloses the fact that the company is not affiliated with the Secretary of State.

The true identity of Workplace Compliance Services

A little online research is all it took to unmask the individuals behind this scam. Pursuant to the Michigan database, Steven Fata and David Brake are the respective president and registered agent of a Michigan corporation titled ANS, Inc.

As it turns out, Workplace Compliance Services (WCS) is an assumed name of ANS, Inc. In addition to WCS, other assumed names of the company include:

  • Assumed Name Services (ANS),
  • Business Compliance Services,
  • Florida Assumed Name Services,
  • Florida Fictitious Name Publishing,
  • Mail Processing Cetner (notice the intentional misspelling), and
  • National Passport Express.

Legal action taken against the scammers

According to a recent article published in the Lansing State Journal, the Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuette, alleged [in a lawsuit suing the company and its owners] that “A Delta Township business intentionally sent deceptive mailings that looked like official government documents to businesses, churches, and nonprofits for more than 15 years”, and “Schuette contends the company’s owners – brothers Thomas, Steven and Joseph Fata – sent misleading mailings that resembled government documents under the name, Corporate Records Service. The company offered to prepare records that met the requirements of Michigan law for $125.”

Summary of LLC annual reporting scam

In closing, please be wary of any document you receive from Workplace Compliance Services (or another company named in the preceding list) soliciting services for filing an LLC annual report, as this is a scam!

Dillon Wright is a certified public accountant (CPA) and owner of Wright Accounting & Consulting, L.L.C. He provides accounting, consulting, and tax planning services to individuals and business owners with ties to the Shreveport/Bossier community.