On May 31, a California Federal District Court approved default judgments against ten defendants for violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45 et seq., (“FTC Act”), and Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6105 et seq., (“Telemarketing Act”). The case is Federal Trade Commission v. Aaron Michael Jones, et al., case number 8:17-cv-00058.
In January 2017, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against nineteen defendants: nine individuals, and ten corporations. According to the complaint, between March 2009 and 2016, the defendants sent out billions of robocalls to telephone numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry and spoofed caller ID information, violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The defendants also sold access to their telephone dialing systems to clients, knowing their clients would then leave pre-recorded messages. The FTC also alleged the defendants helped their clients avoid dialing numbers associated with law enforcement agencies and known class action plaintiffs.
Nine of the nineteen defendants settled with the FTC (the “Settling Defendants”). After the ten remaining defendants failed to settle or respond to the FTC’s complaint, the FTC moved for default judgment, which the Court granted.
The Court granted two final orders against the remaining ten defendants – one for Aaron Michael Jones and another for defendants Allorey, Inc.; Audacity LLC, Data World Technologies, Inc.; Dial Soft Technologies, Inc.; Digital Marketing Solutions, Inc.; Savilo Support Services, Inc.; Secure Alliance Corp.; Velocity Information Corp.; and World Access Media (collectively, the “Corporate Defendants”).
The final orders for the Corporate Defendants and Jones banned them from “engaging in or assisting others to engage in Telemarketing.” The orders also precluded each party from initiating telephone calls that deliver prerecorded messages, initiating calls to any telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, or holding any ownership interest in any business that engages in telemarketing. Jones was ordered to pay $2.7 million in civil penalties to the FTC.
The Settling Defendants also were banned from engaging in telemarketing activities.
We will continue to monitor this matter and report on any further developments.