A telemarketer that spammed customers with over 46 million pre-recorded calls will stop and have to pay a $180,000 fine. The FTC wanted to charge $3 million, but the company doesn’t have that much money so the fine was reduced. [FTC]


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  1. ffmariners says:

    “However, VMBC and its owner will become liable for the full amount if the court finds they misrepresented their financial condition.”

    Good call.

  2. scoosdad says:

    Ah, so it’s OK to spam the public so long as you don’t have the money to pay the fine? Good logic.

  3. Buran says:

    @ffmariners: Why not just make them liable anyway? It’s not like my bank cuts me any slack if I can’t pay my bills; don’t cut crooks any either. If they can’t pay, they can take out loans until they can, and give up their Benzes.

  4. fluiddruid says:

    Eh, you can’t squeeze blood from a stone. Hopefully this is enough to put them out of business.

  5. Buran says:

    @fluiddruid: Tell that to banks who foreclose on people who paid all their payments, or don’t care that they’re making people homeless.

  6. Angryrider says:

    Why can’t the FCC be as cruel as the banks? They should have ripped the head off VMBC when they had the chance.

  7. Mr_Human says:

    @Buran: What banks foreclose on people who’ve made all their payments?

  8. Mr. Gunn says:

    You know the spammer hid his assets, so why not levy the whole fine anyways?

  9. mir777 says:

    Bankrupting a company and then forcing creditors to go through bankruptcy court is potentially a hassle; the costs of litigating those claims, or locating the company’s assets, may have made it ineffective to rule for the entire amount. I don’t know, I’m just forestalling my actual legal work for the day.

  10. alhypo says:

    They can’t pay the full amount? You mean, all those annoying phone calls that no one pays attention to anyway didn’t generate massive revenues? I can’t imagine…

  11. GOKOR says:

    Kinda seems unfair to everyone that has to pay the full fine, but can’t afford to. Like the woman that uploaded a single GnR CD and got slapped $255,000.

    Anyway, was the person’s business an LLC? Corp. LTD, etc? How did he establish his business? Because you can’t go after his personal assets if it’s a Corp. from what I understand (may be an LLC). In which case, shouldn’t the guy have to go to prison for many years like those people from Enron?

  12. Gorky says:

    Now I can use that excuse the next time I get a speeding ticket. Im sorry judge, I dont have a spare $250, Just reduce my fine to 10 bucks

  13. GearheadGeek says:

    @Mr_Human: There’ve been a couple of Consumerist stories about that in recent weeks… a guy whose refi paperwork got screwed up by the banks… he was current with one bank, but the previous bank claims they never were paid and foreclosed, and a woman who had caught up with her payments within the time they stated she had, but they foreclosed anyway. Don’t remember the banks, sorry, but you can probably find it in a search.

  14. brainswarm says:

    I just hope the companies that keep calling me are part of this. For several months, I had some jokers calling me, using a very generic company name, and hanging up the instant I mentioned the Do Not Call Registry.

  15. Buran says:

    @GearheadGeek: Yup, those are the stories I had in mind. This guy could not afford to pay for his house all over again and they knew it and he owned it free and clear and they put him out on the street and from what I understand he is living on the charity of others due to the banks STEALING HIS HOME.

    There doesn’t seem to be any compassion when we’re talking about a family thrown onto the street and yet we’re saying “oh, you can’t pay that? That’s OK” when someone does something illegal! WTF?

    Yes, I’m angry about this…

  16. brokeincollege says:

    If the bank sends a homeowner a bill after the mortgage has been paid off, take them to court for mail fraud. Besides, don’t you get the deed to the house once you’ve paid off your mortgage?

  17. mac-phisto says:

    i say bankrupt the company, find all officers financially liable & throw their asses in jail until they personally come up with the $3 million or make the equivalent in license plates.

    we need to set some freakin examples here. i get about 10 calls/day at work for “important information about my car warranty”, “great deals on cruises” & “loans for businesses of all sizes”. what happens when 10 turns into 100?

    the legislation exists that allows the courts to break down the wall of protection that corporatism used to provide. for god’s sake, start using it already.

  18. Trai_Dep says:

    Yup. Aw, hell, charge his children and his grandkids too. Seriously.

    Multi-generational bankruptcies for spamming fraud-sters.

    In the meantime, have Uncle Sam open a tab and any time he or the exec staff file taxes, tithe 50% to the fine. Until they’re dead. And please – gods please – let them try underdeclaring their taxable income to dodge this. Really: please.

  19. mac-phisto says:

    @trai_dep: do you think this company – voice-mail broadcasting corporation – served any function other than to spam consumers with 25,000 illegal phone calls a day since 2003?

    if a company’s entire vessel for generating revenue violates the law, the company & those responsible for decision-making should be held financially (& if applicable, criminally) liable.

    if not, what message do we send to mr. crowe & others like him? what’s to stop him from resolving his corporation & restarting under a new name – the law? bah! the company’s being fined $0.004 for each phone call he made. that seems fair. really: please.

  20. mac-phisto says:

    @trai_dep: & after reading your post for the n-teenth time, i think i may have misread it as sarcasm, in which case, please disregard jab in previous post. sarcasm – so hard to ascertain in written form.

  21. Trai_Dep says:

    Heh. Not a problem. I got that ALL the time from my mom growing up.

  22. Trai_Dep says:

    (Although, reading your first post, I was thinking, “Damn, maybe I SHOULD have kept that part in their about boiling their private parts in bubbling oil on national TV…”)