Texas has put the freeze on a "tax freeze" scam aimed at seniors. Penalties and fees totaling $23,838 were assessed against State and County Tax Reduction, which advertised fee-based filings for senior homestead tax exemptions.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said the company misled senior property owners last December by mailing misleading correspondence that appeared to be official government business alerting them about an available property tax freeze.

The correspondence urged seniors to take advantage of the services offered, but required a fee, a concealment scheme prohibited under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Such filings are free at local tax offices, and such correspondence, by law, must clearly state that the offer is not official government business, but advertising for services.

Morgan and his business mailed thousands of solicitation letters to residents over age 65 under the guise of official government business. Last December the attorney general obtained a restraining order that stopped this practice, forcing Morgan's company to make refunds to any seniors who had mailed money as fees for services.

"I am pleased the court saw this business for the fraud that it was and applied the appropriate penalties for conduct wrongfully waged against senior citizens," Abbott said. "Property owners can rest assured my office will be on the watch for any similar schemes to bilk them of money they could just as well keep in their pockets this holiday season."