MONTGOMERY – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on May 23 sued Michael D. Lansky LLC, doing business as Avid Telecom, owner Michael Lansky and vice president Stacey S. Reeves for allegedly …
MONTGOMERY – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on May 23 sued Michael D. Lansky LLC, doing business as Avid Telecom, owner Michael Lansky and vice president Stacey S. Reeves for allegedly initiating and facilitating billions of illegal robocalls to millions of people and violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.
Avid Telecom sent or transmitted more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry between December 2018 and January 2023 – approximately 147,134,579 of those calls were to numbers in Alabama, according to a news release.
“One thing that unites all Alabamians is our hatred of robocalls,” Marshall said. “In recent years, robocalls have become more than a nuisance and often are opportunities for scammers to steal money and prey upon our citizens. My office will continue to aggressively enforce our consumer protection laws to combat these practices.”
Avid Telecom is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider that sells data, phone numbers, dialing software and/or expertise to help its customers make mass robocalls. It also serves as an intermediate provider and allegedly facilitated or helped route illegal robocalls across the country. Between December 2018 and January 2023, Avid sent or attempted to transmit more than 24.5 billion calls. More than 90% of those calls lasted less than just 15 seconds, which indicates they were likely robocalls, the attorney general's office said in the news release.. Further, Avid helped make hundreds of millions of calls using spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls that appeared to be coming from government and law enforcement agencies, as well as private companies.
Avid Telecom allegedly sent or transmitted scam calls about Social Security Administration scams, Medicare scams, auto warranty scams, Amazon scams, DirecTV scams, credit card interest rate reduction scams and employment scams.
The USTelecom-led Industry Traceback Group, which notifies providers about known and suspected illegal robocalls sent across their networks, sent at least 329 notifications to Avid Telecom that it was transmitting these calls, but Avid Telecom reportedly continued to do so, according to the release.
Tuesday's legal action arises from the nationwide Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force of 51 bipartisan attorneys general. The task force is investigating and taking legal action against those responsible for routing significant volumes of illegal robocall traffic into and across the United States. The Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General provided investigative assistance in this matter.
Marshall is joined in filing today’s complaint by the Attorneys General of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.