The U.S. communications regulator on Tuesday proposed a $225 million fine, its largest ever, against two health insurance telemarketers for spamming people with 1 billion robocalls using fake phone numbers.
The Federal Communications Commission said John Spiller and Jakob Mears made the calls through two businesses. State attorneys general of Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas also sued the two men and their companies, Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom, in federal court in Texas, where both men live, for violating the federal law governing telemarketing, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The FCC said the robocalls offered plans from major insurers like Aetna and UnitedHealth with an automated message. If consumers pressed a button for more information, however, they were transferred to a call center that sold plans not connected to those companies. The FCC said the Missouri attorney general sued Rising Eagle’s largest client, Health Advisors of America, for telemarketing violations last year.
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