quote: The Federal Trade Commission, seeking its first civil penalties against a telemarketer for violating the federal do-not-call list, has sued a Las Vegas firm, saying it called more than 300,000 numbers on the registry to sell time-share properties in Atlantic City.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in a Nevada federal court, the agency said Braglia Marketing Group LLC also broke federal rules governing the use of automated dialers. If consumers answer such calls, they must be connected to a sales representative within two seconds.
"This is a pretty simple case because our requirements are pretty clear. You can't call numbers on the registry. These people did," said Eileen Harrington, the agency's associate director for marketing practices. The agency's rules call for an $11,000 fine for each violation, making the potential liability in the case more than $3 billion, an award that the commission is unlikely to obtain, agency officials said yesterday.
It would be better if the owners of those properties were also held responsible for the fines. Scumbags hiring "subcontractor"s to front for illegal activities should be nailed to the wall.
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Legally it would depend on the relationship. For tort liability, the indepenent contractor relationship might protect the time share seller unless it's shown he knew about the violations. BUT, I think a case could be made for anyone who put themselves on the timeshare seller's individual do not call list i the timeshare seller didn't give this list to the telemarketer.
Criminally, it would have to be shown the time share seller acted in concert - in this case hired the telemarketer specifically to call people on the do not call list.
I'm not sure how it works for civil penalties. I know the standard of proof is lower, but I'm not sure how culpability flows. There's precedent in the Tysons Chicken/Maryland chicken farmers cases, but I don't know if it applies.
There should be a way to do this easily. The statute should make this issue explicit. For telemarketers and spammers.