The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has essentially put an end to the telemarketing operations of Justin Ramsey, owner of Prime Marketing, LLC, and Mike Jones, owner of Allorey, Inc. and several other companies.
The FTC complaint against Prime Marketing accuses them of making over 1.3 million calls using prerecorded voice messages to consumers, many of whom were listed on the Federal "Do Not Call" registry. These calls allegedly started in 2012, and continued through May of 2016.
Two of Ramsey's partners have agreed to a settlement that includes a ban on making additional calls using prerecorded messages and a $1.4 million judgement, which is beyond what the defendants can reasonably pay. The fine will be suspended unless the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial situation.
This isn't the first time that a government agency has gone after Ramsey. The Indiana and Mississippi State Attorney Generals filed the earlier complaints against his companies for allegedly breaking state telemarketing laws. In both of those cases, judgments totaling nearly $5 million went against Ramsey.
The FTC complaint against Mike Jones accuses him and eight of his business partners of making billions of calls using prerecorded voice messages without the consent of the call recipients between March 2009 and May 2016. The majority of these calls were made to sell extended auto warranties, search engine optimization services, and home security systems.
Seven of the nine defendants in this case have agreed to court orders banning them from using prerecorded voice messages to make telemarketing calls, in addition to a $9.9 million dollar judgement. Due to the defendants inability to pay, all but about $500,000 of that judgement has been suspended.
Telemarketers should remember that using prerecorded voice messages to call consumers is only allowed if the call recipient has provided written consent to receive the calls. Federal and State government agencies will almost always take the side of the consumer when there are complaints and accusations of illegal robocalls that were made without consent or to numbers on DNC lists.