Attorney General James Files Lawsuit to Dissolve Corporation Impersonating Brooklyn Grocery Store
Fraudsters Diverted $100,000 from Sahadi’s Wholesale Using Fake Corporation with a Similar Name
AG James Urges New Yorkers and Small Businesses to be Vigilant and file Complaints with Her Office if their Name or Address is being Fraudulently Used
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve a fake corporation impersonating the wholesale arm of the Brooklyn grocery store, Sahadi’s. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) learned that fraudsters diverted nearly $100,000 from Sahadi’s Fine Foods by creating a corporation with a similar name and the same address. This fraud is part of a trend in which scammers are stealing New Yorkers’ names and addresses to create fake corporations or corporations with similar names to legitimate ones, which could allow them to open credit cards, take out bank loans, and illegally collect tax refunds. The OAG has received complaints from New Yorkers who have received mail to their homes for businesses they are not affiliated with. Attorney General James encourages New Yorkers and small businesses who believe they are a victim of this fraud to report it online to her office.
“Fraudsters stealing identities to create fake companies can do real damage to unsuspecting New Yorkers,” said Attorney General James. “Small businesses and ordinary New Yorkers have fallen victim to this scheme and my office has taken action to shut down these fraudsters. I urge New Yorkers to be vigilant and file a complaint with my office if they believe that their name or address is being fraudulently used.”
“This fraud is causing real harm to small businesses,” said Pat Whelan of Sahadi's Fine Foods. “We thank Attorney General James for taking quick action to stop these fraudsters and protect small businesses.”
The OAG learned that fraudsters opened a corporation named Sahadi Fine Foods Products Inc., resembling the actual Brooklyn grocery store Sahadi Fine Foods Inc. The fraudsters used the store’s actual address, opened up a bank account, and diverted $100,000 in checks into the illegitimate company’s bank account. The OAG filed a lawsuit to dissolve the fake corporation and stop this fraud.
Sham corporations could be the first sign that more extensive identity or mail theft has taken place. The OAG received complaints from New Yorkers who have been receiving mail from the New York Department of Taxation and Finance for businesses they are not associated with and have never heard of. Fraudsters can use corporations to file and collect fraudulent tax refunds, open lines of credit, take out bank loans, and engage in other fraudulent or criminal activity, which could harm ordinary New Yorkers who are not affiliated with the illegitimate corporation. These illegitimate businesses ranged from fake consulting firms to fake technology companies in counties across the state.
New York Law provides the Attorney General with the sole authority to take down fraudulent corporations. The OAG has filed lawsuits to dissolve the following corporations, some of which have names very similar to legitimate corporations:
- Bronx: LIANGHAO YUNYONG TECHNOLOGY INC. and HAPPY WINNER INC.
- Columbia: TIME DAY INC.
- Kings: SAHADI’S FINE FOODS PRODUCTS INC., UNDERGROUND CITY INC., and US CHOCOLATE CORPORATION
- Oneida: FINALE DREAM INC.
- Queens: WNG HUA CORP., YOO HI HAY INC., and YONG EXPRESITO INC.
- Suffolk: MAKO888 CORP, MCGEE SERVICES INC., and EASY GAME INC.
If you believe that your address or your name is being used in association with a corporation that you are not affiliated with, please file an online complaint with OAG Consumer Frauds Bureau.