About this Event
Attorney General Todd Rokita and team take strong actions against robocallers as part of national sweep
Attorney General Todd Rokita and his team have continued a months-long crackdown against illegal robocallers responsible for billions of calls nationally and tens of millions to Hoosiers.
As part of this effort, Attorney General Rokita’s team has collaborated with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other law enforcement partners nationwide — including attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia — in a national sweep the FTC has dubbed “Operation Stop Scam Calls.”
“All Hoosiers, my wife and I included, hate these unwanted automated calls that disturb our peace and interrupt our routines,” Attorney General Rokita said. “But these calls are more than mere annoyances. Quite often, they’re part of elaborate scams aimed at stealing people’s money and identities. We’re working to stop these criminal acts and hold perpetrators accountable.”
The national sweep targets telemarketers and the companies that hire them — as well as lead generators who deceptively collect and provide consumers’ telephone numbers to robocallers. These deceptive lead generators falsely represent that consumers have consented to receive calls.
Operation Stop Scam Calls also targets Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers who facilitate tens of billions of illegal robocalls every year, which often originate overseas.
Over past months, Attorney General Rokita's team has taken the following actions:
- In April of 2023, Attorney General Rokita’s team finalized settlements with Startel Communication LLC, Wanda Hall, and Rapid Eagle Inc. — doing business as VoIP Essential Inc. These companies allegedly helped robocallers make over 4.8 million phone calls to Hoosiers and hundreds of millions of calls to other states across the United States. The alleged robocalls included a variety of scams, including IRS and Social Security Administration imposter scams, legal action or arrest scams, Apple support scams, and Amazon subscription scams. The settlements included civil penalties and injunctive terms. Rapid Eagle Inc. LLC agreed to follow state and federal laws on telephone privacy and pay $150,000 to the State of Indiana. Startel Communication LLC and Wanda Hall agreed to leave the robocalling and telecom industry forever.
- In March of 2022, Attorney General Rokita’s team settled with Piratel LLC — a California telecommunications company whose clients included the aforementioned Startel Communication LLC. The settlement resolved allegations that Piratel LLC had accepted money to essentially “look the other way” rather than act upon its knowledge that Startel facilitated robocalls. Piratel LLC agreed to follow state and federal laws on telephone privacy and pay $150,000 to the State of Indiana.
- In April of 2023, Attorney General Rokita's team settled with Greg Sheppard doing business as Connected Leads out of Chicago, Illinois for allegedly sending at least seven robocalls sent to Hoosiers on the Indiana Do Not Call List. The settlement included a judgment of $30,000 and other injunctive terms.
- In August of 2022, Attorney General Rokita announced that his team was leading The Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force. The Task Force is a 51-state-member collective, led by the Attorneys General of Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio, which is focused on actively investigating and pursuing enforcement actions against various entities — currently, VoIP providers — in the robocall ecosystem that are identified as being responsible for significant volumes of illegal and fraudulent robocall traffic routed into and across the country.
- On behalf of the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force, Attorney General Rokita’s team in November of 2022 filed a petition to enforce a Civil Investigative Demand issued earlier that year to One Eye LLC. In May of 2023, the court ordered that One Eye LLC, its ownership group, and its successive company One Owl Telecom Inc. stop transmitting calls to: 1) phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry; 2) phone numbers on the Indiana Do Not Call List 3) phone numbers with an Indiana Area Code; and 4) Indiana residents.
- Co-leading a 49-attorney-general coalition, Attorney General Rokita filed a civil lawsuit in May of 2023 against Michael D. Lansky LLC — doing business as Avid Telecom — and others alleging violations of various state and federal telephone privacy and telemarketing laws. The complaint alleges that Avid Telecom sent or transmitted more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. This was the first enforcement action that arose out of the investigative efforts of the 51-member Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force. As of July 2023, the case remained pending.
- Attorney General Rokita and his team, along with six other states, prepare for trial in August of 2023 against Health Advisors of America Inc., Michael T. Smith and Scott Shapiro for their alleged role in one of the United States’ largest robocalling schemes. The complaint alleges defendants made 25 million calls to Hoosiers in 2019 and 2020, which included more than 13.5 million calls to people whose numbers were on the Do Not Call Registry and 5 million calls to Hoosiers on the Indiana Do Not Call List. In March of 2023, the Attorney General settled with John Spiller and Jakob Mears.
“Collaboration is a key component in investigating and prosecuting illegal robocallers,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We will continue working with state and federal partners to combat this criminal activity and achieve positive outcomes for Hoosiers.”
A headshot of Attorney General Rokita is available for download.
More details about any of these cases are available upon request. Email [email protected].