New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered two websites shut down for impersonating the official website of the New York State Department of State and “significantly overcharging” customers who used the services on the site.
James’ office announced the action on Wednesday, naming Thomas Romano and his company, Steamin’ Weenie LLC, as the culprits behind the websites. The AG’s office secured some $44,000 in damages after shutting down the website.
“Misleading consumers is not a smart business plan, it’s unethical and illegal,” James wrote in a statement. “These websites deceived hardworking New Yorkers who were simply trying to open up their own business and file the necessary paperwork to do so.
“Scam artists may think they are savvy, but breaking state laws and conning New Yorkers will get you into hot water with my office. I encourage everyone to be vigilant and ensure the websites they are visiting to conduct government business are legitimate,” she continued.
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James’ enforcement comes as New York City is embroiled in controversy over former President Trump’s arraignment in Manhattan on Tuesday.
Trump faces 34 counts of felony business fraud and surrendered himself to authorities earlier this week. He has since returned to his residence in Florida.
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James is currently pursuing a $250 million lawsuit against Trump and his businesses. James argued in a September filing that Trump and his Trump Organization misled banks and others about the value of his assets, including golf courses and hotels bearing his name, in a practice she dubbed “The art of the steal.”
James’ case against Trump is pending. She wants a judge to fine Trump $250 million and permanently ban him from doing business in the Empire State. New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron scheduled that trial to begin in October.
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Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges of falsifying business records brought against him by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.