Judge rules against Va. telemarketer

Bryan Cohen Dec. 21, 2011, 12:00pm


RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that a Virginia telemarketing company that allegedly placed illegal calls has been banned from calling North Carolina numbers.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Lucy Inman agreed this week with Cooper's request to enter a permanent injunction and default judgment against Media Synergy Group LLC of Richmond and Louis G. Anton, its president. The court order bans the defendant and any agents or employees from placing any telemarketing calls, live or prerecorded, to North Carolina telephone numbers. In addition, the court has ordered the defendants to pay the state $421,500 in civil penalties.

"We're sending the message that we don't tolerate telemarketers skirting the law and calling people who've said they don't want to be bothered," Cooper said. "When North Carolina consumers join the Do Not Call Registry, telemarketers need to respect their wishes."

Cooper filed suit against Media Synergy Group in July 2009 after complaints from consumers that the telemarketer made unsolicited sales calls to North Carolinians, including those on the Do Not Call Registry. The company allegedly used automatic dialers to make calls and to play prerecorded messages when answering machines picked up. This type of robocall is illegal under state law unless a live caller first introduces the call and asks if you are willing to hear a recorded message.

Cooper's office first alerted Media Synergy Group to complaints against the company in 2009 and at that time the company promised take care of the problem. Media Synergy Group allegedly continued to call state consumers, leaving messages in an attempt to sell commercial travel services along with NASCAR tickets and paraphernalia.

"Consumers who have signed up for the Do Not Call Registry deserve the right to peace and quiet," Cooper said. "I urge consumers to continue to let my office know if a company violates their rights."

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