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Attorney General Sues to Dissolve Fraudulent LLCs, Alleges ‘Cloning’ Business Identity Theft

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has filed suit in the 6th Judicial Circuit Court in Oakland County to dissolve two business entities in response to their purported practice of ‘cloning’ legitimate businesses and procuring their organizations with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) by fraud. 

In filing to establish two Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) with LARA, an operator using the alias Perry Davis, Jr. fraudulently procured the organizations using addresses and names identical or nearly identical to legitimate businesses. The lawsuit claims alias Perry Davis, Jr. intercepted checks made out to the legitimate, intended recipient businesses and attempted to deposit the funds into bank accounts established under the names of the fraudulent LLCs. The fraudster succeeded in this effort for one of the two attempts.  

This is a known form of business identity theft called ‘cloning.’ As described in the lawsuit: “Cloning involves a fraudster creating a new legal entity with a name that is the same as, or very similar to, an existing company name. Depending on the nature of the scam, the fraudster might also use address, telephone number, or other information belonging to the legitimate business that has been cloned.” 

“Businesses are ripe targets for identity theft, and cloning is simply another novel tactic for thieves and frauds to steal hard-earned income from working Michigan residents,” said Nessel. “Small and large businesses alike face attempts to defraud them that often go unrecognized. I encourage any business operator who suspects they have been the victims of cloning or other types of identity theft to contact my Department’s Consumer Protection Team.” 

The Attorney General seeks a Court order dissolving both clones, and injunctions prohibiting either clone from conducting business in Michigan, and to preclude any new business entity creation by anyone using the name Perry Davis, Jr. unless such a person can satisfactorily document non-association with the fraudster persona described in the complaint.  

Businesses and individuals alike who suspect they have been the victim of identity theft are encouraged to file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information by contacting the Department’s Consumer Protection Team: 

Consumer Protection Team
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll-free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form

Michigan Identity Theft Support (MITS) is an extension of the Department’s Consumer Protection Team. MITS staff is dedicated to helping victims navigate the challenges of identity theft. The signs of identity theft, the various types of identity theft, and the steps to combat it are among the resources available to Michiganders on the MITS website


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