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$3 Million Fine for Selling Toll-Free Numbers

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied a $3.3 million penalty against a New York company and its owner for brokering toll free telephone numbers in violation of FCC regulations.

According to a Forfeiture Order issued by the Commission in February 2015, the company, IT Connect Inc. of South Warwick, NY and its owner, Richard Jackowitz, sold or attempted to sell 210 toll-free numbers, at prices ranging from $375 to $60,000 per number. The Commission’s Enforcement Bureau originally issued a citation against Jackowitz and IT Connect in November 2007, notifying him that such transactions were in violation of FCC rules.

However, Jackowitz reportedly continued to broker toll free numbers, prompting the Commission to issue a Notice of Apparent Liability in July 2012 and a 2013 Forfeiture Order for $240,000. Then, in the wake of his continued violation of Commission rules, the FCC issued a second Notice of Apparent Liability in March 2014. In his response, Jackowitz contested certain facts contained in the Commission’s Notice, but acknowledged that he did, in fact, offer toll free numbers for sale. Further, he failed to offer any credible evidence contesting the FCC’s charges or that the proposed forfeiture be reduced or cancelled.

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Under the Federal Communications Act, telephone numbers, including toll-free telephone numbers, must be made “available on an equitable basis,” and Commission rules expressly ban the brokering or selling of toll-free numbers by a private entity for a fee.

Read the complete text of the Forfeiture Order againt IT Connect Inc. of South Warwick, NY and its owner Richard Jackowitz for selling toll-free numbers.

Photo by samantha celera

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