AG Lawsuit Alleges California Company Violated the Government Impostor Act

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | 10:55am

Tennessee homeowners sent look-alike invoices seeking unnecessary payments

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today announced the filing of a lawsuit against a California company and its principals for violations under the Government Impostor Act.

The civil enforcement action names LA Investors LLC, based in southern California, and its principals, Roberto Romero and Laura Romero. LA Investors conducted business in Tennessee under the names “Local Records Office” and “National Profile Document.”

According to the lawsuit, LA Investors, doing business as Local Records Office, mails invoices to new homeowners requiring payment in order for the homeowners to receive copies of their deeds. These look-alike invoices deceive homeowners into thinking the documents are from the government. Consumers have paid LA Investors for copies of their deeds when they are available for free or for a nominal fee from the local Register of Deeds Office.

Last year, the General Assembly passed, and Governor Haslam signed, the Government Impostor and Deceptive Advertisements Act. This law prohibits the use of advertisements that appear to originate from a government office and requires the use of specific disclosures when selling documents that are available for free or a lesser cost from a government office.

The lawsuit claims LA Investors’ use of deceptive mailings violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and the Government Impostor Act. Any person with any information about LA Investors or Local Records Office should contact the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection and Advocate Division, at (615) 741-1671.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, civil penalties, and restitution for victims. A copy of the lawsuit is available here: http://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/attorneygeneral/filings/lainvestors-complaint.pdf