A defendant agreed to a permanent ban from telemarketing and robocalling in a deal with the Federal Trade Commission, by settling allegations he had helped his clients call numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, to hide information from Caller IDs, and to make illegal robocalls.

The FTC referred charges to the Department of Justice, which filed a complaint against Joseph Turpel in California federal court for allegedly violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule. According to the agency, Turpel provided services to telemarketers and either knew or consciously avoided knowledge about his clients’ illegal activities.

Turpel’s clients contacted consumers about services like home security systems and grant procurement programs. Turpel assisted their efforts by concealing the client’s true identity so that a call recipient’s Caller ID displayed titles like “SERVICE MESSAGE” or “SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.” He also helped clients with illegal robocalls, the agency said.

To settle the suit Turpel agreed to a permanent ban from telemarketing and robocalling. The stipulated final order filed with the court also includes a suspended $395,000 civil penalty, because of his inability to pay.

To read the stipulated final order in U.S. v. Turpel, click here

Why it matters: The settlement with Turpel serves as a reminder that a person could be liable if he provides “substantial assistance or support” to a seller or telemarketer when he knows or consciously avoids knowing that the seller or telemarketer is engaged in violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule.