A federal judge has ruled in Arkansas' favor in a lawsuit over violations of telemarketing laws, one of five "robocall" suits Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed last year.
U.S. District Judge Brian Miller issued a default judgment ordering Associated Accounting Specialists Inc. of Port St. Lucie, Fla., to pay $90,000 in penalties for violations of state and federal telemarketing laws, McDaniel said in a statement Friday. The company was also ordered to pay $4,500 in attorneys fees and costs, and $998 in restitution.
The state's lawsuit alleged that the company made automated telephone calls, or "robocalls," to deceptively advertise interest-rate reductions on credit cards but never provided the relief. Each of the five lawsuits filed in 2012 allege that separate Florida-based businesses were violating the law by making auto-dialed solicitations to Arkansas consumers on the national Do Not Call registry, in efforts to sell them credit-card interest-rate-reduction services that consumers complained were a ripoff.
“This is the latest in judgments against companies that engaged in annoying telemarketing tactics while misleading Arkansans consumers into believing they could help lower credit-card interest,” McDaniel said. “We heard from countless consumers who were frustrated by these types of calls, and we are glad to be able to take action on behalf of Arkansans to stop these illegal practices.”
The judgment also prohibited Associated Accounting Specialists and its owner, Jason Page, from placing unsolicited calls to U.S. consumers and from operating any business that purports to offer credit-card interest rate or debt relief, McDaniel said.
Earlier this month, Arkansas won a default judgment against Financial Ladder Inc. of St. Cloud, Fla.; two of the suits are still pending.