New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against a fraudulent company that was found to be impersonating a Brooklyn grocery store.
According to James, the fraudsters had opened up a corporation that closely resembled the local grocery store Sahadi Fine Foods Inc., naming their illegitimate company Sahadi Fine Foods Products Inc.
The fraudulent individuals then proceeded to utilize Sahadi's real store address, opened up a bank account, and were successfully able to reroute $100,000 in checks into said bank account.
The Office of the Attorney General — which is in charge of shutting down illegitimate corporations across New York — learned about the fake company masquerading as Sahadi's, which led the OAG to take action.
The OAG filed against the fake business to dissolve it and stop it dead in its tracks before it could do any more damage.
“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.”
Pat Whelan, managing director of Sahadi's Fine Foods, said the Brooklyn grocery business is thankful the fraudulent operation was dealt with swiftly.
“This fraud is causing real harm to small businesses,” said Whelan. “We thank Attorney General James for taking quick action to stop these fraudsters and protect small businesses.”
The OAG says that this incident is a part of a trend where fraudsters create sham corporations to impersonate legitimate companies in New York. Fraudsters can use corporations to file and collect fraudulent tax refunds, take out bank loans, open lines of credit and more.
Attorney General James says that she encourages New Yorkers and small businesses that believe they have been the victim of fraud to report it to her office online here.