FCC Recommends Biggest Fine in Agency's History Against Prolific Robocaller

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 10, 2020
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a fine of $225 million, the biggest in the agency's history, against a set of Florida-based telemarketers who made over 1 billion scam robocalls in just four and a half months.

The telemarketers, John C. Spiller and Jakob A. Mears, working through a business that was sometimes called Rising Eagle and sometimes called JSquared Telecom, have been accused of making literally millions of calls a day using spoofed number. What's more, they are alleged to have deliberately targeted people on the Do Not Call list in the belief that it would be more profitable to do so.

The alleged scam went as follows: The telemarketers would call people and claim they were offering health insurance plans from well-known companies and asked them to press 3 if they were interested. If those who were called pressed 3, they were then told they would be transferred to a licensed agent who would set them up. But instead, they would be sent to a call center with no affiliation at all with the companies the telemarketers named. The call center representative would then try to sell them insurance sold by one of the company's clients. The FCC noted that one of its biggest clients, Health Advisors of America, was already sued by the Missouri attorney general for telemarketing violations in February 2019.

If these two truly did make more than a billion calls over the course of four and a half months (about 135 days), then that means they'd have had to make about 7.5 million calls per day.

The FCC's recommendation does not represent a final action, and it is only a recommendation to the commissioner, who cannot decide on a fine above that level. The two telemarketers will have a chance to respond, and then the FCC will make a decision.

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