SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has imposed fines and oversight for three Utah companies found to have violated the “Do Not Call” registry and engaging in abusive telemarketing practices.
In an order issued last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby imposed a $45 million civil judgment against the Corporations for Character, Feature Films for Families and Family Films of Utah. However, he only ordered them to pay about $487,000 of that.
In 2016, a jury found the three companies engaged in “deceptive and abusive practices” surrounding telemarketing of its products, the Federal Trade Commission said. The federal government alleged the companies committed approximately 117 million violations and 99 million calls to phone numbers on the Do Not Call registry and another four million calls making misleading statements to induce DVD sales. Under the law, the FTC was allowed to seek as much as $11,000 to $16,000 per violation, which adds up to a staggering amount — nearly a trillion dollars (the government sought much less than that).
An attorney for the companies did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
“Unwanted telemarketing calls invade the privacy of American consumers,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division in a prepared statement. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure telemarketers adhere to laws designed to protect against abusive and deceptive telemarketing practices.”