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.

Header of the WCS letter (appears similar to other SoS documents)

As this image reflects, the letter mailed by WCS looks similar to other government documentation (specifically, the “Limited Liability Company Annual Report” previously issued by the SoS – but discontinued in 2016). Furthermore, the document includes an excerpt from the Louisiana statute (R.S. 12:1308.1) mandating an annual report be filed. See the highlighted passages of the WCS letter below.

Excerpt of LA R.S. 12:1308.1

Alas, the next two (2) paragraphs report Workplace Compliance Services status as a private company, issue a call-to-action to assist LLC managers with filing annual reports, and disclose the fact that the company is not affiliated with the Secretary of State.

Revealing the true identity of WCS

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.

Screen-shot of the detailed record of ANS, Inc. from the Michigan database

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 this Lansing State Journal article, the Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuette, recently 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: 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 your LLC’s annual report, as this is a scam!

Additional Resource:

Workplace Compliance Services letter scam by Alvin Alexander

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