Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Obtains Restraining Order Against Michigan Business Selling “Mandatory” Hand Washing Posters

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, October 17, 2006  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced today the filing of a civil lawsuit and the issuance of a restraining order against two Michigan defendants who are charged with sending solicitations that contain false and misleading information to restaurant and food service operators in the Commonwealth, in violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.

The mailers were sent throughout Kentucky from the “Kentucky Food Service Compliance Center,” and contain an official-looking seal and the title “Advisory to All Food Licensees.” The solicitation advises that state and federal law required the posting of posters on hand washing procedures for all food handlers and threatens criminal fines and sanctions for noncompliance and then offers the “mandatory” posters for sale; however, there is no state or federal law requiring hand washing posters.

The defendants, Mandatory Poster Agency, Inc., doing business as Kentucky Food Service Compliance Center, and Thomas Fata, the President of Mandatory Poster Agency, both have a business address in Lansing, Michigan but utilize a mailbox in Frankfort, Kentucky for receiving mail in response to Kentucky solicitations.

A temporary injunction was issued today by Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Douglas Kemper ordering the defendants to halt the false solicitations in Kentucky and to set aside funds in an amount equal to any money collected from Kentucky consumers until further order of the Court.

Five other states, Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, Utah and West Virginia, have taken similar action against Mandatory Poster Agency for mailings in those states.

“These mailings were sent for the purpose of scaring small businesses into ordering posters which are not required by law,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “The Defendants took advantage of business people who work hard to make a living and strive to be law-abiding citizens. My office will protect the public from those who attempt to use false information about laws and regulations for their own profit.”

Anyone who has sent money to Mandatory Poster Agency or Kentucky Food Service Compliance Center is asked to contact the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection at 1-888-432-9257.