SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -

The Consumer Protection Unit of the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's office has reached a $30,000 settlement with a New York based company that scammed Central Coast residents.

According to the DA's Office, Atlantic Direct Inc., sent people letters with a Cash Winner Notification Form. The form lists a maximum prize of $10,000.

The letters were very similar to the winner notification letters received by Bruce Dern in the Oscar-nominated movie, Nebraska.

The letters violated a number of California laws, including those that govern the advertising of sweepstakes and prize promotions.

Under the agreement, Atlantic Direct also agreed to an injunction prohibiting the sending of notices to California consumers without clearly disclosing the terms of the promotion.

The case began after a presentation on scams by the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's office at a meeting of senior citizens. According to Assistant District Attorney Kelly Walker, a member of the audience came forward and said they had been sent one of the mailers.

An investigation by the DA's Consumer Protection unit was started resulting in the judgment filed Sunday against the company.

If you think you or a loved one has been scammed call (831) 454-2500 and ask for the Consumer Protection Unit.