COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost along with seven other attorneys general have announced two related judgments in order to shut down the massive robocall operation which called more than 69 million Ohioans.
“Stopping annoying robocalls is a lengthy process, but this judgment is a reminder that we can cut them off,” Yost said. “There are enough distractions in life – let’s not let spam callers interrupt our lives anymore.”
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas this week imposed a combined monetary judgment against the owners of Rising Eagle Capital Group, JSquared Telecom and Rising Eagle Capital Group-Cayman. The two owners, John Caldwell Spiller II and his business partner, Jakob Mears were fined $244,658,640, according to a news release from Yost.
Due to their inability to pay, the two will be given a permanent operational ban, meaning that neither of them can operate, facilitate any robocalls, or even work for any companies that make robocalls or engage in telemarketing.
The lawsuit filed in June 2020 cited violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the federal Telemarking Sales Rule, along with various state consumer-protection laws.
Specifically, between January and May 2019 and January and March 2020, the defendants initiated more than 69 million robocalls to phone numbers associated with Ohio area codes, according to a news release from Yost’s office. Of those, roughly 32.3 million were numbers on the Do Not Call list.
Defendants Scott Shapiro, Michael Theron Smith Jr. and Health Advisors of America Inc. are still being prosecuted by the attorneys general. The defendants allegedly worked with Mears and Spiller to make illegal robocalls.