In our updates of July 21, 2008 and October 6, 2008, we reported on solicitations sent to corporations that appear to come from a government agency, but actually do not. These solicitations usually offer to assist the corporation in performing a non-existent or not legally required service, such as registering with a fictional corporate registry or filing of corporate minutes (which is not required). States affected include California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Texas.

Now comes word that Illinois corporations are receiving a similar solicitation. The Illinois Secretary of State's office was concerned enough to post the following notice in bold, red letters on its website:

"WARNING! A non-governmental firm called "Illinois Corporate Compliance" is contacting Illinois businesses in an attempt to collect a $150 fee to file corporate meeting minutes. Please be aware that corporations are NOT required by law to file minutes with ANY government or private entity. It is recommended that corporations do NOT reply to the solicitation."

Terry McConville, Assistant General Counsel for the Illinois Secretary of State, says that people have been calling and even coming into the Secretary of State's offices in Chicago and Springfield to pay the fictional fee. He notes, "The Secretary of State has taken this matter very seriously. In addition to the notice on the website, the Secretary of State has started an investigation with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Service Inspector's Office. We anticipate hearing from people down the line who have been scammed and who won't be happy to find out that they still owe their annual corporate fees."

Anyone receiving this type of notice who is not sure whether it is legitimate or a scam should contact whoever is maintaining their corporate records. Masuda Funai's Business Group can also assist in determining the legitimacy of any solicitation.