The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently filed a lawsuit in connection with violations of federal telemarketing law and related conduct that allegedly began as early as 2001. The FTC sued an enterprise of entities and their owners, which it claims are recidivist violators of federal telemarketing laws, having been subpoenaed, investigated, and sued by private and governmental litigants for the better part of the last decade.
What is the nature of the alleged telemarketing law violations brought by the FTC?
According to the FTC’s complaint, a series of companies, operated by three individual owners, ran an enterprise that:
- Developed a computer-based dialing platform called “TelWeb,” that allowed telemarketers to transmit large numbers of robocalls over a short period of time;
- Programmed software to permit users to violate telemarketing laws;
- Licensed the software to affiliated companies for purposes of selling access to the platform to third-party telemarketers;
- Facilitated the spoofing of caller identification numbers; and
- Knowingly called numbers in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule’s (“TSR”) Do-Not-Call regulations.
The FTC alleges that it has identified billions of telephone calls placed through this enterprise that violate federal telemarketing laws. As a result, the complaint seeks significant monetary relief from the companies and their owners, as well as onerous injunctive relief aimed at preventing future telemarketing law violations.
Telemarketing Law Compliance
Telemarketers face a wide range of legal risks. This case is an instructive example of the tremendous pressure that the FTC can bring to bear on telemarketers that knowingly skirt the various rules and regulations that govern both a telemarketer’s front and back end operations. In order to minimize one’s operating risk, it is critical to engage knowledgeable legal counsel prior to undertaking a telemarketing campaign to ensure that all practices and procedures are fully compliant with applicable laws, rules and regulations.