Boynton Beach operation blasted billions of illegal robocalls, FTC says

Just hang up if you receive a robocall.

The FTC has taken action against an alleged robocall operation based in Boynton Beach.

The Federal Trade Commission Friday announced a crackdown on two massive robocall telemarketing operations, one of which was headquartered in Boynton Beach.

Both have been blasting robocalls to billions of  consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry since at least 2012, the FTC said.

The FTC complaint was filed this week in federal court in West Palm Beach  against Justin Ramsey, Brian Offner, Christopher Herghelegiu and their companies Data Guri LLC, Tailbone Security LLC, both based in Boynton Beach, Leading Apex in Pennsylvania and Prime Marketing, Boca Raton.

The other case was filed against Aaron Michael Jones in Orange County, California.

The two ringleaders of the operations— Ramsey, who lived in Boca Raton, according to state records,  and  Jones—have previously been sued by state attorneys general for telemarketing violations and the FTC’s litigation against them continues, the FTC said.

According to the FTC’s complaint in the Ramsey action, the defendants illegally blasted millions of robocalls in 2012 and 2013 to consumers on the DNC Registry selling home security systems or generating leads for home security installation companies. In just one week in July 2012, the defendants allegedly made more than 1.3 million illegal calls to consumers nationwide, 80 percent of which were to numbers listed on the DNC Registry.

The FTC alleges that Ramsey continues to violate the Telemarketing Sales Rule.  For example, in April and May of 2016, the FTC alleges that he and his company, Prime Marketing LLC, placed at least 800,000 calls to numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry.

Two of Ramsey’s former business partners and their three companies have agreed to settle. In addition to the bans on robocalling, DNC and TSR violations, the court orders impose a $1.4 million judgment, which is suspended based on the defendants’ inability to pay. The full amount will become due if they are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.

Many of the defendants in the two cases, FTC v. Justin Ramsey and FTC v. Aaron Michael Jones, have agreed to court orders that permanently ban them from making robocalls, making any calls to numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry, violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule and/or assisting others in doing so. The settling defendants also will pay the Commission a total of more than $500,000.

“The law is clear about robocalls — if a telemarketer doesn’t have consumers’ written permission, it’s illegal to make these calls,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC will continue working hard to put a stop to telemarketers who ignore the law.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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