Archive for October 2009

Santa Barbara Paralegal Association Luncheon

It’s a beautiful Thursday afternoon and I just finished speaking at the Santa Barbara Paralegal Association (SBPA) luncheon in sunny downtown Santa Barbara. The event marked the association’s annual meeting, during which they held elections for next year’s officers and listened to me speak for an hour on “Legal Ethics and Corporate Officer Fraud.”

There was a great turnout at the event, with somewhere between 35 and 40 members in attendance. The group was very friendly and I didn’t catch a single person sleeping during the presentation. I’d love to think that it is because of the quality of my presentation, but I can’t quite be sure.

The meeting was held at the Santa Barbara Bank and Trust Community Conference Room, which is a beautiful facility and perfect for meetings of this type. Sandwiches and salads were served, the elections went smoothly and the results announced after the presentation. The results of the election should be posted on the SBPA website (www.sbparalegals.org) in the near future. I can guarantee they haven’t had time to update the site just yet!

I want to extend a warm thank you to this great association and group of paralegals for a very warm welcome as well as for their attentiveness and questions. I look forward to having the opportunity to speak with SBPA again soon!

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Continuing Reports Regarding Annual Report Scams

On October 8, 2009, California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown brought suit against six businesses and eight individuals all of whom were involved in scams perpetrated against small corporations and LLCs in the state.

Parasec has been working for at least the past couple of years to get the word out about these ongoing scams and will continue to try to warn our clients about the potential for being deceived by these clever scam artists.

All of the scams involve similar tactics, including the mailing of official-looking documents warning that if the forms are not returned with payment by a certain date, the companies will risk loss of their corporate or LLC status with the state of California. The fees requested in the scams have ranged from $195 to $239.

The forms all carry official-looking seals and come with titles such as: “Compliance Annual Minutes Board,” “Annual Review Board” and “Corporate Filings Division.” Sometimes these perpetrators claim that they will prepare the corporate minutes in return for payment, but the Attorney General has found that when this is the case the documents prepared are insufficient to qualify as legitimate corporate minutes.

While these cases are certainly a step in the right direction towards containing these scams, please stay alert because there are many other companies perpetrating similar types of scams. The scams are apparently quite lucrative and require very little effort. The warning we printed in the latest issue of our Alert resulted in numerous calls from our clients regarding documents they had received from companies similar to these.

Give us a call if you have ANY questions about documents you may receive. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially in these tough economic times. Any correspondence you receive from us will be clearly labeled with either Parasec or Paracorp on the documentation. If you don’t see our name, it’s definitely not from us. We’re happy to help make sure you don’t get caught in one of these scams!

If you do receive any solicitations of this nature, the California Attorney General is interested in seeing the material. Here is the information about where to file complaints:

Attorney General’s Office
California Department of Justice
Attn: Susie Lorden
110 West A Street, Suite 1100
San Diego, CA 92101
PHONE: 800-952-5225
Email: piu@doj.ca.gov

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