FTC Gets $2.7M Judgment Over Billions of Unlawful Robocalls

Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security brings you single-source access to the expertise of Bloomberg Law’s privacy and data security editorial team, contributing practitioners,...

By George Lynch

The head of a group of California companies that helped telemarketers place billions of unlawful robocalls must pay $2.7 million to the Federal Trade Commission under a federal court judgment announced by the FTC June 2 ( FTC v. Jones, C.D. Cal., No. 17-00058, default judgment against individual 5/31/17 ).

The court also entered judgment prohibiting the companies from engaging in prohibited telemarketing practices ( FTC v. Jones, C.C.D. Cal., No. 17-00058, default judgment against companies 5/31/17 ).

Aaron Michael Jones and nine companies he operated helped telemarketer clients place calls to people on the federal Do Not Call (DNC) Registry at a rate of more than 100 million per year, the FTC estimated. That adds up to billions of unlawful calls from March 2009-May 2016, the FTC said in its complaint.

The defendants also engaged in prohibited spoofing by disabling caller ID functions, the FTC alleged. The defendants assisted telemarketers in avoiding robocalls to law enforcement agencies or to known class action plaintiffs, the FTC complaint said.

The robocalls attempted to sell auto warranties, search engine optimization tools, home security systems, or lead generation-based goods and services, the FTC said.

Judge David O. Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted the FTC’s motion for default judgment.

The court order permanently bans Jones and the companies from engaging in telemarketing activities, such as placing robocalls, calling numbers on the DNC Registry, and selling lists of consumers’ personal information, and they must submit annual compliance reports to the FTC.

The nine companies against which judgments were entered are Allorey, Inc., Audacity LLC, Data World Technologies, Inc., Dial Soft Technologies, Inc., Digital Marketing Solutions, Inc., Savilo Support Services, Inc., Secure Alliance, Inc., Velocity Information Corp., and World Access Media.

FTC staff represented the commission. No one entered an appearance on behalf of the defendants.

To contact the reporter on this story: George Lynch in Washington at gLynch@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at daplin@bna.com

For More Information

The judgment and order against Aaron Michael Jones is available at http://src.bna.com/ptB..The judgment and order against the companies is available at http://src.bna.com/ptC.

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security