Ark. AG obtains $168K order against Fla. telemarketer
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) - Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced a $168,000 order on Tuesday against a Florida-based telemarketer that allegedly violated state and federal law. Financial Management Partners Inc. and Eric Pugh, the company's owner, allegedly made illegal, automated and prerecorded calls to hundreds of Arkansas consumers. After being paid for services related to reducing credit card interest rates, the company allegedly failed to deliver. McDaniel alleged Financial Management Partners violated the Arkansas Advanced Fee Loan Brokerage Act, the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the Arkansas Consumer Telephone Privacy Act, the federal Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule. U.S. District Judge Susan Webber ordered Financial Management Partners and Pugh to pay $78,000 in penalties and $90,277.50 in consumer restitution. McDaniel filed suit against Financial Management Partners and four other Florida companies in 2012 for allegedly deceiving consumers. "Financial Management Partners and at least four other companies inundated Arkansans with annoying, illegal telemarketing calls, and they even disguised their phone numbers to avoid detection," McDaniel said. "Worse, when consumers did agree to pay for the services that were advertised, the companies took their money and failed to deliver on promises to lower credit card interest rates. Fortunately, these companies will not be engaging in those types of illegal practices in Arkansas again." After the judge's order, four of the five lawsuits have been successfully resolved for Arkansans. Associated Accounting Specialists Inc., Financial Ladder Inc. and Consumer Global Services LLC were all found in violation of state and federal laws in 2013 and were ordered to pay restitution and penalties. A lawsuit against the other company remains pending.