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A federal district court judge in California has approved default judgments against Aaron Michael Jones and nine companies whom the Federal Trade Commission charged earlier this year with running an operation that blasted consumers with billions of illegal telemarketing robocalls. The FTC estimates that in making the illegal robocalls, Jones and the companies he controlled called numbers listed on the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry at a rate of more than 100 million per year.
The court orders announced today permanently ban Jones and the companies from all telemarketing activities, including initiating robocalls, calling numbers on the DNC Registry, and selling data lists containing consumers’ phone numbers and other information. The order against Jones also imposes a $2.7 million penalty against him, payable to the Commission.
The FTC’s January 2017 complaint charged nine individuals, including Jones and his associate Steven Stansbury, and 10 corporate entities with operating related enterprises that initiated robocalls to consumers without first getting their written permission. According to the complaint, between at least March 2009 and May 2016, the defendants made or helped to make billions of these illegal robocalls, many of which pitched extended auto warranties, search engine optimization services, and home security systems, or generated leads for companies selling such goods and services. Many of those calls were made to numbers included on the DNC Registry.
The nine corporate defendants against whom the court has entered default judgment are: 1) Allorey, Inc.; 2) Audacity LLC; 3) Data World Technologies, Inc.; 4) Dial Soft Technologies, Inc.; 5) Digital Marketing Solutions, Inc.; 6) Savilo Support Services, Inc.; 7) Secure Alliance, Inc.; 8) Velocity Information Corp.; and 9) World Access Media.
The FTC also recently obtained an order settling the charges against Stansbury. The order permanently bans him from robocalling, from calling phone numbers on the DNC Registry, and from selling lists of data containing phone numbers on the Registry. Further, the order bans him from abusive telemarketing practices, such as using outbound telemarketing to contact a consumer who has previously asked not to be called again. The order also prohibits him from violating the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and imposes a judgment of $2.7 million, which will be suspended based on his inability to pay, after he pays the Commission $3,000. The full amount will become due if he is later found to have misrepresented his financial condition.
In addition, seven of the nine individual defendants and corporate defendant Local Lighthouse Corp. agreed to court orders settling the Commission’s charges concurrent with the January complaint filing. Entry of the court’s default judgments against defendant Jones and the other corporate defendants, along with the stipulated final order against defendant Stansbury, resolves the FTC’s actions regarding all of the defendants in this case.
The Commission vote authorizing staff to file the proposed stipulated federal court order settling the charges against Steven Stansbury was 2-0. FTC staff filed the proposed order in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and it has been entered by the court.
NOTE: Stipulated court orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
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