USA: FCC issues $5M fine for illegal robocalling
On June 6, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the publication of its Forfeiture Order No.: EB-TCD-21-00032652, issued on the same date, against John M. Burkman, Jacob Alexander Wohl, and J.M. Burkman & Associates LLC (the respondents), in which it adopted a $5,134,500 fine against the respondents for making 1,141 unlawful robocalls.
Background to the case
In particular, the FCC outlined that the robocalls, in this case, told its recipients, potential voters, that if they voted by mail, their 'personal information will be part of a public database that will be used by police departments to track down old warrants and be used by credit card companies to collect outstanding debts.' The recorded messages identified the respondents by name.
Findings of the FCC
In light of the investigation carried out, the FCC found that 1,141 unlawful calls were prerecorded and made to consumers' wireless phones without their required prior consent and that the respondents provided no evidence that they had obtained such consent to make the calls. Accordingly, the FCC noted the robocalls were in violation of Section 227(b) of Title 47 of the U.S. Code and Section 64.1200(a)(1)(iii) of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R).
Ultimately, the FCC imposed the aforementioned fine on the respondents.