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Automated Calls

Los Angeles, CA: (Jan-30-08) The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Justice Department brought charges against Voice Mail Broadcasting Corp. and its owner, Jesse Crowe, alleging that they violated federal telemarketing rules by making 46 million automated calls since October 2003. The suit claimed that the prerecorded calls pitched debt consolidation, mortgage services and other financial products. Officials said that when consumers answered, the calls were either terminated or the prerecorded message played. The commission stated that the calls were a violation of federal norms, as FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule requires that calls answered by individuals be connected to a live sales representative within two seconds.

Sources close to the case revealed that the parties had reached a settlement, resolving the allegations. Under the settlement agreement, the California telemarketing firm has agreed to pay a $180,000 fine. Though the original judgment was $3 million, the FTC said that all but $180,000 of the penalty was suspended based on the defendants' inability to pay. [BUSINESS WEEK: TELEMARKETING VIOLATIONS]


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Published on Jan-31-08


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