Mo. AG Koster files eight lawsuits against telemarketers

By Bryan Cohen | Mar 10, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced multiple lawsuits on Thursday against eight telemarketers for allegedly violating Missouri's No Call and Telemarketing laws.

Koster also announced multiple recent settlements and judgments against telemarketers resulting in the recovery of several hundred thousand dollars.

The North Carolina-based ISI Alarms Inc.; the California-based Leads Direct Marketing; the Florida-based Central Security; William Waller, ISI Alarm's owner; Peter Tolman, Leads Direct Marketing's owner; and Joseph Versacio, Central Security's owner, allegedly attempted to sell home security and monitoring systems by falsely telling consumers the FBI reported increased neighborhood burglaries. Koster said that home security companies generate the second highest number of complaints to his No Call Unit, behind credit card debt servicing companies.

Koster also filed suit against Ozark Liquidation Inc. and Phillip Zieser, the company's president, for allegedly soliciting Missourians on the No Call registry for timeshare liquidation services and seminars. Koster also sued Michael Major, doing business as Major Data, for allegedly soliciting Missourians on the No Call registry to buy home healthcare supplies.

In the five lawsuits, Koster is seeking $5,000 per violation of the Missouri No Call Law and up to $1,000 per violation of the Telemarketing Law. The suits also seek injunctions prohibiting the defendants from making additional telemarketing calls in the state.

"Missourians place their phone numbers on our No Call list for a very simple reason - they do not want to receive annoying, unwanted sales calls," Koster said. "When they ask the company for the calls to stop, they should stop. That's the law."

Koster also announced settlements and judgments reached in previously-filed lawsuits against telemarketers including a $30,000 settlement with the Florida-based Debt Management Inc., American Credit Counselors and six other defendants, a $75,000 settlement with Mortgage Investors Corporation and a $150,000 judgment against Leading Apex LLC and Brian Offner, the company's owner.

"To date the office's No Call unit has obtained approximately $4 million in fines and judgments against firms that violate our No Call and telemarketing laws," Koster said. "We continue to protect consumers from being harassed by unwanted calls by aggressively pursuing telemarketers that violate our laws."

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