Attorney General Andy Beshear, the Federal Trade Commission, and a coalition of attorney generals plan to file complaints against several companies and individuals as part of a major government crackdown on illegal robocalls.
The joint effort, “Operation Call it Quits” includes federal, state and local enforcement actions against more than 94 illegal scam call operations across the U.S. and an educational campaign to help citizens stop unwanted calls.
Back in March, Beshear and 53 state attorneys general sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging lawmakers to enact legislation to curb illegal scams, robocalls, and caller ID spoofing.
The new FTC complaints announced Tuesday include allegations against:
- First Choice Horizon LLC – The defendants are accused of running a maze of interrelated operations that used illegal robocalls to contact financially distressed consumers with offers of bogus credit card interest rate reduction services. The case is pending in a Florida court, where company assets have been frozen and a receiver appointed.
- 8 Figure Dream Lifestyle – The defendants are allegedly using a combination of illegal telemarketing robocalls, live telephone calls, text messaging, internet ads, emails, social media and live events to market and sell consumers fraudulent money-making opportunities. A California court granted the FTC’s request for a restraining order, including an asset freeze.
- Derek Jason Bartoli – The FTC’s complaint alleges Bartoli is the developer and provider of a computer-based telephone-dialing platform, known as an autodialer. He used the autodialer to blast out millions of illegal robocalls and calls to numbers listed on the DNC Registry. The complaint claims Bartoli, in the last six months of 2017 alone, sent over 57 million calls and initiated millions of calls using spoofed caller IDs. The proposed court order settling the charges bans Bartoli from illegal robocall practices and imposes a $2.1 million civil penalty, which has been suspended.
- Media Mix 365, LLC – The complaint alleges the company and its owners made illegal calls to develop leads for home solar energy companies. The defendants allegedly called one number more than 1,000 times in a single year. The proposed court order settling the charges permanently bans the defendants, Nicholas and Nicole Long, from calling phone numbers listed on the DNC Registry and from robocalling. The order imposes a $7.6 million civil penalty, which will be suspended upon payment of $264,000.