The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against a group of defendants, alleging they engaged in a scheme to illegally facilitate “billions” of robocalls that pitched everything from auto warranties to debt-relief services.
The case was filed in the District Court for the Central District of California. It lists James Christiano, NetDotSolutions, Inc., TeraMESH Networks, Inc., Andrew Salisbury, World Connection USA, LLC, World Connection, LLC, and World Connection, S.A., as the defendants.
Christiano and his company, NetDot, are alleged to have provided the servers and the software to place the calls. At least one billion of the calls were transferred to call centers maintained by Salisbury and his network of companies. The service Christiano and his companies provided is known as TelWeb, which is a “one-stop shop for illegal telemarketers,” the FTC alleges in its complaint.
TelWeb’s platform became so prevalent that it has been involved in at least six other robocalling lawsuits filed by the FTC.
Christiano and his companies are charged with violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The defendants are accused of making illegal robocalls, contacting people whose phone numbers were on the Do Not Call list, calling individuals while using spoofed caller IDs, and abandoning calls in which the platform hung up on individuals who answered the phone.
Salisbury, called a recidivist robocaller by the FTC, and his companies are charged with making calls with unlawful prerecorded messages, contacting people whose phone numbers were on the Do Not Call list, and calling individuals while using spoofed caller IDs.
“This case shows that the FTC will keep using every tool it has to fight illegal robocalls,” said Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “We will go after not only robocallers, but also companies — like these — who give robocallers the platform and tools to deceive the public and violate the law.”