AG Ferguson files lawsuits against two companies for sending more than 200,000 deceptive letters to Washington small business owners

Sunday, March 20, 2022

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed consumer protection lawsuits against two companies and their owners for sending more than 210,000 deceptive letters to small business owners in Washington. 

The letters deceptively appear to originate from the government, and demand payment for a “Certificate of Status” or a workplace poster that are available from the government free of charge or for a fraction of the monetary demand. 

More than 15,000 Washington businesses paid these two defendants more than $1.2 million in response to their deceptive letters.

Ferguson’s two lawsuits, both filed in King County Superior Court, assert CA Certificate Service, which also does business as WA Certificate Service, and Labor Poster Compliance violated the state Consumer Protection Act hundreds of thousands of times. 

The lawsuits name the four co-owners of CA Certificate Service — James L. Beard, Dean G. Marshlack, Chad M. Davis and Joshua T. Strawn — and two co-owners of Labor Poster Compliance, James L. Beard and Chad M. Davis. The four defendant owners are located in the St. Petersburg, Florida area, and their companies operate nationwide.

The two companies sent at least 210,784 letters into Washington state since March 2019. Ferguson asserts these letters unlawfully duped small business owners into making unnecessary payments to the companies.

At least 14,743 Washington business owners paid $82.50 to CA Certificate Service — a total of approximately $1.2 million. The Attorney General’s Office estimates over 318 Washingtonians paid Labor Poster Compliance $79.25 — a total of more than $25,000.

Ferguson will also soon file motions for preliminary injunction to shut down the companies’ operations in Washington and prevent further mailings of their deceptive letters while the cases are ongoing. The Attorney General’s Office continues to receive complaints about the letters and Washingtonians have so far filed 90 complaints.

The Attorney General’s Office will ask the court to require both companies to pay back the money they obtained deceptively from Washington business owners, seek civil penalties of up to $7,500 per violation of the Consumer Protection Act and pay attorneys’ costs and fees.

“Small businesses power our economy,” Ferguson said. “With this lawsuit, I intend to get the impacted business owners their money back – with interest.”

If you suspect you are the target of similar scams, please contact the Attorney General’s Office. You can file a complaint online at or call the office toll-free at 1-800-551-4636.

More information here


Anonymous,  March 20, 2022 at 10:27 AM  

hurray for Bob!!

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