A Nevada-based telemarketing group has made more than 300,000 calls to consumers who registered their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is seeking civil penalties against Braglia Marketing Group, L.L.C. (BMG) and its principals, Frank and Kate Braglia. This is the first time the agency has sought civil penalties for violations of the Registry.
BMG is a telemarketing firm based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that calls consumers on behalf of its clients, including Flagship Resort Development Corporation and Atlantic Palace Development, LLC, which sell timeshare resort properties in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
According to the FTC, in addition to making calls to hundreds of thousands of registered phone numbers since October 17, 2003, BMG also has made more than 10,000 calls to various phone numbers without first paying the required annual fee to access the registered numbers in those area codes. The FTC further alleges that BMG has abandoned calls to consumers by failing to connect the call to a representative within two seconds after consumers answered the phone. The FTC has charged the defendants with violating the Do Not Call Registry provisions and other provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
The Commission vote referring the matter to the Department of Justice for filing was 5-0. The complaint was filed at the FTC’s request by the Department of Justice in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada on August 30, 2004.
NOTE: The Commission authorizes the filing of a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant actually has violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.
Copies of the Commission’s complaint are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
(FTC File No. 042 3036)
(Civ. No. CV-S-04-1209-DWH-PAL)