- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut officials say they’ve collected nearly $1.8 million in penalties from out-of-state companies operating in the state without the proper, legal authority.

The penalties were paid by 353 out-of-state firms and collected by the Secretary of the State and Attorney General’s offices during fiscal year 2015. It marked the largest single year collection since the joint enforcement effort between the two offices began in 2007.

Attorney General George Jepsen said out-of-state companies are often unaware they must register before conducting business in Connecticut. He said registering with the state gives consumers a layer of protection.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said she hopes other firms will now be encouraged to comply with the law and avoid future penalties. Violators face a fine of $300 for every month they’re unregistered.

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