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Permit scam targets Baton Rouge businesses

4 years ago July 06, 2011 Jul 6, 2011 Wednesday, July 06 2011 Wednesday, July 06, 2011 5:21:50 PM CDT in News
Source: Stephanie Ryan

BATON ROUGE-- A letter asking for $125 and delicate business information could be a scam that leaves you high and dry, according to Secretary of State Tom Schedler.

The letter from a private business called Louisiana Corporate Compliance asks for the fee, shareholder information, and minutes of any business meetings.  It looks eerily similar to something the Secretary of State's Office sends business owners each year to register.  The difference?  The Secretary of State only asks for $25, the business name and any "agents"-- folks who own and work for the business.

Schedler is concerned about how many may have fallen prey to the letter.  So far, he's gotten about 60 complaints.

When Schedler went to investigate who was in charge of the letters, he found a P.O. box at The UPS Store on Bluebonnet, but no office.  A further look revealed Jonathan Ganer, the man behind the letters, has faced charges in Texas for the same crime.

Schedler wants to prosecute Ganer in Louisiana, but isn't sure Louisiana laws are strong enough right now.  He hopes to change the laws in the next session of the legislature.

The Louisiana Attorney General's Office is looking into the case, but before it can prosecute it needs to find victims of the scheme.

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