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AG Yost Joins FTC, Other States in Announcing Enforcement Sweep to Squash Illegal Robocalls


(CHICAGO) – In collaboration with the Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement partners nationwide, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today unveiled an initiative that expands the crackdown on illegal robocall operations responsible for inundating consumers with billions of unwanted calls.

The joint state and federal “Operation Stop Scam Calls” builds upon the ongoing efforts of Ohio and other states to combat the persistent problem of robocalls and other unlawful telemarketing.

“Our collective efforts – from this sweep to the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force and beyond – help us to expand our playbook, allowing us to outwit and defeat these perpetrators in their own arena,” Yost said. “Our secret weapon is consumers – whom we urge to continue reporting illicit robocalls, so we can sever these unwanted illegal robocallers’ connection once and for all.”

The comprehensive initiative targets not only telemarketers and the companies that employ them but also lead generators who deceptively collect and provide consumers' phone numbers to robocallers, falsely representing that these individuals have consented to receive such calls.

In addition, Operation Stop Scam Calls focuses on the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers that facilitate tens of billions of illegal robocalls annually, many of which originate from overseas.

“Today, government agencies at all levels are united in fighting the scourge of illegal telemarketing. We are taking action against those who trick people into phony consent to receive these calls and those who make it easy and cheap to place these calls,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, who appeared at a news conference in Chicago announcing the initiative. “The FTC and its law enforcement partners will not rest in the fight against illegal telemarketing.”

Since taking office in January 2019, Yost, now in his second term as Ohio’s attorney general, has been tirelessly working to disconnect robocallers by targeting every link in the robocall chain.    In the past two years, he has redoubled those efforts, pursuing numerous legal actions and consistently working to educate the public. Here's a timeline of the most recent work of Yost and his Consumer Protection Section:  

  • July 7, 2022: Yost files a lawsuit against 22 defendants, including California residents, Aaron Michael Jones, Roy M. Cox, Jr. and Stacey E. Yim, for their involvement in a massive "car warranty" robocall scheme supported by Avid Telecom. This ongoing case generated more than 1,600 unwanted-call complaints to Yost's office. The defendants’ unlawful and complex scheme bombarded consumers with more than 77 million robocalls a day to generate sales leads. Notably, two defendants in this lawsuit had previously been sued by the FTC on similar charges.
  • Jan. 5, 2023: Yost files a lawsuit against six individuals, including California resident Stacey E. Yim, and six companies that relied on illegal robocalls to generate sales leads, subsequently pitching “car warranties” to Ohio residents. The complaint alleges that Florida-based Pelican Investment Holdings financed leads to initiate outbound prerecorded calls, marketing and selling "vehicle service contracts." The contracts were administered by Dimension Service, Autoguard Advantage, and National Administrative Service, all based in Dublin, Ohio. The case is pending in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
  • March 7, 2023: Yost has reached settlements with John C. Spiller, II and Jakob A. Mears, operators of Texas-based Rising Eagle Capital Group, JSquared Telecom, and Rising Eagle Capital Group-Cayman. These individuals were responsible for initiating over 69 million robocalls to phone numbers associated with Ohio area codes. However, the case against the remaining defendants is set to proceed to trial in August 2023. The defendants include Florida-based Health Advisors of America, Inc., Michael T. Smith, Jr., and Scott Shapiro, who are alleged to have sent more than 308 million "health care" robocalls between January 2019 and June 2020.
  • May 23, 2023: Co-leading the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force, Yost sues Arizona-based Avid Telecom; its owner, Michael Lansky; and its vice president, Stacy Reeves, for violating two federal laws: the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The complaint alleges that Avid Telecom, Lansky and Reeves knowingly provided substantial assistance or support to sellers and telemarketers engaged in illegal robocalling, including defendants involved in Yost’s “car warranty” action filed in July of 2022. 
Consumers who receive unwanted calls can complete an Unwanted Call Notification Form at That information is directed to the Robocall Enforcement Unit, which uses the reports to identify trends to protect Ohioans.

Kelly May: 614-813-7419

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