Getting most of the state Attorneys General to agree on anything is like herding cats, so when most of them come together, it’s likely to be something big. Forty-nine AGs announced earlier this week that they were filing a joint lawsuit against a telecom company accused of facilitating billion of robocalls to consumers nationwide.
A copy of the 141-page complaint against Avid Telecom and Michael D. Lansky, filed in the District Court for the District of Arizona, can be accessed by clicking here. The suit accuses the defendants of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other state and federal consumer protection laws.
Avid Telecom is a service provider that sells phone numbers, dialing software, and expertise to help customers make mass robocalls, according to the complaint. It helped facilitate more than 24 billion robocalls between 2018 and 2023, 7.5 billion of which were to consumers who registered phone numbers on the national Do Not Call list. The Industry Traceback Group sent 329 notifications to Avid Telecom, informing it that it was transmitting illegal robocalls, but the company continued to do so.
“Such a blatant disregard for consumer protection laws will not be tolerated and violators of these laws will be held accountable,” Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a statement.
The defendants are accused of spoofing or using invalid Caller ID numbers, including facilitating more than 8 million calls that appeared to be coming from government or law enforcement agencies. The company denied the charges and vowed to defend itself against the suit.
“Contrary to the allegations in the complaint, Avid Telecom operates in a manner that is compliant with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations,” said Neil Ende, the company’s outside legal counsel, in a published report. “The company has never been found by any court or regulatory authority to have transmitted unlawful traffic and it is prepared to meet with the attorneys general, as it has on many occasions in the past, to further demonstrate its good faith and lawful conduct.
“In this context, the company is disappointed that the attorneys’ general chose not to communicate their concerns directly before filing the lawsuit,” Ende added. “While the company always prefers to work with regulators and law enforcement to address issues of concern, as necessary, the company will defend itself vigorously and vindicate its rights and reputation through the legal process.”