The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a record fine against two Texas-based health insurance telemarketers for making an estimated 1 billion illegally spoofed robocalls.
In a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued in early June, the Commission proposed a fine of $225 million against John C. Spiller and Jakob A. Mears, who operated a number of businesses, including Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom. Spiller and Rising Eagle reportedly made 1 billion robocalls during the first four and a half months of 2019, falsely promoting short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans from well-known health insurance companies.
Unsuspecting consumers who responded to the robocalls were transferred to call center representatives who would attempt to convince them to purchase an insurance product sold by one of Rising Eagle’s client companies. The FCC reports that one of those companies, Health Advisors of America, was sued in February 2019 by the Missouri Attorney General for telemarketing violations.
Spiller admitted that he knowingly called consumers on the Do Not Call list maintained by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) because he believed that such consumers would be more profitable to target.
According to the FCC, the $225 million fine proposed in this case is the largest single fine ever proposed by the Commission in its 86-year history.