AG Kaul Announces Lawsuit Against Florida Company for Deceptive Mailers Cheating Over 6,000 Wisconsin Businesses
MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), acting on a referral from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), filed a civil enforcement action against Florida-based Centurion Filing Services, LLC.
“When Wisconsin businesses or consumers are scammed, the scammers must be held accountable,” said AG Kaul. “Thank you to those at DOJ and DATCP whose work led to the filing of this civil enforcement action regarding deceptive mailers that were sent to new businesses.”
According to the complaint, since 2020 Centurion—operating under the name “WI Certificate Service”—has sent tens of thousands of deceptive mailers to newly-created Wisconsin businesses. The mailers, which are designed to look like government invoices, encourage recipients to order a “Certificate of Status” for $72.50. However, businesses can request the same form directly from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) for $10. The complaint alleges that, as a result of Centurion’s scheme, over 6,000 Wisconsin businesses responded to the illegal mailers.
Secretary Randy Romanski of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) said Centurion’s actions were deceptive.
“By posing as a state government service, Centurion defrauded thousands of legitimate businesses for hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he continued. “As Wisconsin’s primary consumer protection agency, DATCP is responsible for defending not only individuals, but also businesses from phony billing schemes, imposter scams, and other fraud. Businesses concerned they may be targets of unlawful solicitations should contact us to verify an invoice is legitimate before sending any money to an unknown entity.”
In March 2021, DFI and the Better Business Bureau issued a warning to businesses about the misleading solicitations. The Wisconsin DOJ’s lawsuit also names as Defendants Centurion’s principals and owners, Dean Marshlack, David Marshlack, and Brian Capobianco. The lawsuit seeks restitution for businesses harmed by the illegal conduct, civil forfeitures, and to bar Centurion from further violations.
For additional information and consumer protection resources or to file a complaint, visit the DATCP's Consumer Protection webpage at ConsumerProtection.wi.gov. If you have questions or believe you are a victim of a scam, report it by calling DATCP's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128 or emailing DATCPHotline@wi.gov.