Last week, Arizona State resident Lukeroy Rose became the first person to plead guilty to an alleged criminal violation of a recently amended Arizona telemarketing law.
How can telemarketers and text message marketers stay legally compliant in Arizona?
Arizona Telemarketing Law Amendments
Arizona telemarketing laws and regulatory enforcement practices are some of the strictest in the country. For example, a seller, telemarketer or text message marketer’s failure to file a verified or limited registration statement with the Secretary of State (as applicable) or otherwise qualify for an exemption is a Class 5 felony in the State of Arizona.
In August 2016, the Arizona Legislature passed Senate Bill 1375, which expanded the Arizona State definition of “telephone solicitation” to include calls made from within the State to out-of-state consumers.
Telemarketer Criminally Prosecuted in Arizona
In May 2016, following an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Lukeroy Rose was indicted by an Arizona State grand jury for alleged conspiracy, money laundering, fraud and other criminal charges in connection with the telemarketing practices of his company, Rose Marketing, LLC. The Arizona telemarketing law was amended while Rose’s case was pending.
In December 2016, while Rose was released from custody on bond, the Arizona State Attorney General’s Office Special Investigations Section conducted undercover surveillance and determined that Rose had made additional telemarketing calls that allegedly violated the recently amended Arizona telemarketing law. Rose was arrested again and held without bond.
On January 25, 2017, Rose pleaded guilty to “Unlawful Telephone Solicitations” and a number of other criminal counts. Under Rose’s plea agreement, he will be sentenced on February 23 to five years in prison.
Protect Yourself Before You Call or Text
As the above-referenced case illustrates, telemarketers and text message marketers that launch marketing campaigns within the State of Arizona without the requisite licensure face substantial legal risk, including possible criminal prosecution. Sellers and their marketing affiliates are advised to consult experienced telemarketing counsel before making calls or delivering text messages from or into the State of Arizona.