On March 27, 2019, the FTC announced that it reached a settlement with four separate operations responsible for “bombarding consumers nationwide with billions of unwanted and illegal robocalls.”
Per court order, the defendant entities are “banned from robocalling and most telemarketing activities, including using an automatic dialer, and will pay significant financial judgments.” Among the defendants who settled on Tuesday is NetDotSolutions, Inc., which is one of two companies run by James Christiano. According to the proposed settlement order, Mr. Christiano and his companies operate the software platform, “TelWeb,” which was responsible for more than one billion illegal robocalls.
Additional highlights of the proposed settlement orders include:
- Imposes a $1.35 million judgment against James Christiano, NetDotSolutions, Inc., and TeraMESH Networks, Inc. (Christiano’s other company), jointly and severally.
- Banned from engaging in, or causing others to engage in, telemarketing using an automatic dialer and from assisting others to engage in telemarketing by providing access to an automatic dialer.
- Imposes a $1 million judgment against World Connection, LLC
- Imposes a $2.7 million judgment against both Andrew Salisbury and World Connection, S.A.
- Permanent Ban from making robocalls or assisting others in doing so.
- Judgment against Salisbury is suspended upon $50,000 payment to the FTC.
- Judgments against World Connection, LLC and World Connection, S.A. are suspended for inability to pay.
Higher Goals Marketing
- Imposes a $3.15 million judgment against defendants Brandun L. Anderson, Lea A. Brownell, Melissa M. Deese, Gerald D. Starr, Jr., Travis L. Teel, Wayne T. Norris, and Sunshine Freedom Services, jointly and severally, which will be suspended after they turn over all of their available assets.
- Permanent ban from telemarketing and debt-relief services.
Veterans of America
- Permanently bans Travis Deloy Peterson from soliciting charitable contributions.
- Prohibits Peterson from making misrepresentations 1) that an entity identified as a potential recipient of funds is a charity; 2) that a charitable contribution is tax-deductible; and 3) any other material fact related to the solicitation of money from consumers.
- Bans Peterson from robocalling and prohibits him from deceptive and abusive telemarketing.
- Imposes a $541,032.10 monetary judgment against Peterson, which will be suspended once he provides significant assets, including 88 vehicles, to the FTC.
- Bans defendants Michael Pocker, Steffan Molina, and their respective companies from the deceptive sales practices in the complaint, including misrepresenting material facts to consumers.
- Bans the defendants from robocalls and from calling numbers on the DNC Registry.
- Requires the defendants to disclose their identity to consumers during telemarketing sales calls.
- Imposes a $1.93 million judgment against Pocker individually, as well as a $3.62 million judgment against his companies.
- Both judgments will be suspended after Pocker pays more than $18,000 to the FTC.
- Imposes a $1.72 million judgment against Molina individually and a $3.64 million judgment against his companies.
- Both judgments will be suspended after Molina and his companies turn over $103,000 to the FTC.
- Imposes a $1.81 million judgment against Diaz
- Partially suspended upon payment of $690,817 to the FTC.
- Contains the same conduct relief as the orders against the Pocker and Molina with limited exceptions.