U.S. States Sue Company over Billions of Robocalls 

May 24, 2023

Fifty-one attorneys general representing every state in the union and the District of Columbia have signed onto a lawsuit accusing Avid Telecom of making more than 7.5 billion robocalls to people on the national Do Not Call Registry.

The 141-page lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix. It names Avid Telecom owner Michael D. Lansky and Vice President Stacey S. Reeves as defendants and it seeks a jury trial to determine damages.

According to the suit, Avid Telecom used spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls that appeared to be coming from the government or law enforcement agencies.

“[M]any of these calls are scams designed to pressure frightened consumers, often senior citizens, into handing over their hard-earned money,” Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes noted in a statement.

She added that nearly 197 million of the robocalls were made to phone numbers in the state where the lawsuit was filed between December 2018 and January 2023.

The legal action arose out of bipartisan Anti-Robocall Multistage Litigation Task Force, formed last year and of which each of the plaintiff attorneys general are members.  

The suit alleges that Lansky and Reeves violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.

Avid’s outside legal counsel Neil Ende has insisted that the company “operates in a manner that is compliant with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.”

Robocalls came under an FBI investigation amid the 2020 Presidential election when voters across the country received anonymous phone messages just ahead of Election Day telling them to “stay safe and stay home.”

This past November, a pair of conspiracy peddlers, 24-year-old Californian Jacob Wohl and 56-year-old Virginian Jack Burkman, were sentenced to six months of home confinement, $2,500 each and 500 hours of community service each to help register voters after they admitted making about 85,000 fraudulent robocalls to predominantly Black neighborhoods that sought to suppress minority voter turnout in 2020.

The duo have also been sued in federal court in New York City and face a $5.1 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission. 

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.



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