Today Judge John F. Grady of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued a temporary restraining order stopping telemarketing company Voice Touch, Inc., its principals James and Maureen Dunne, its business partner Network Foundations LLC, and Network Foundations principal Damian Kohlfeld from making any further calls in violation of the Do Not Call Registry and other provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the FTC Act. The FTC filed the case yesterday, charging that the defendants were operating a massive telemarketing scheme that used random, pre-recorded phone calls to deceive consumers into thinking that their vehicle’s warranty is about to expire.
“Today the FTC has disconnected the people responsible for so many of these annoying robocalls,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “We expect to see a dramatic decrease in deceptive auto warranty calls, but we are still on high alert.” If consumers continue to receive unsolicited robocalls to numbers on the Do Not Call registry, they should report them to DoNotCall.gov.
In a related matter filed by the FTC, Judge Grady yesterday issued a temporary restraining order against automobile warranty sales company Transcontinental Warranty, Inc., and its CEO and president, Christopher Cowart, who are clients of Voice Touch. In both cases, the court found that the FTC established a likelihood of success on the merits.
The court barred deceptive claims about extended warranties, froze the defendants’ assets, and appointed receivers over Transcontinental and Network Foundations to ensure that documents are preserved and assets are not dissipated. The restraining orders are in effect until a preliminary injunction hearing set for May 29, at which time the judge will reassess what type of relief should remain in place until the case proceeds to trial.
NOTE: The Commission files 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. A complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have actually violated the law.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.
(FTC File Nos. 092-3110, 082-3263)