Attorney General T.J. Donovan March 25 filed a civil lawsuit against Missouri-based company, Karabell Industries, and its owner, Eli Karabell, for making repeated illegal telemarketing calls and harassing state legislators to pay him exorbitant sums of money.
The lawsuit was filed in Washington Superior Court after numerous state legislators complained of receiving late-night phone calls from the Defendants who claimed to offer “government consulting services.” The Defendants then emailed state legislators proposing contracts and demanding payments of $18,500 per hour or even $48 billion. The Attorney General’s lawsuit alleges that the Defendants—who have ignored requests to stop—violated Vermont’s Consumer Protection Act and Telephone Solicitation Act.
“Companies that bring illegal calls into Vermont can expect to be held accountable,” said Attorney General Donovan. “My office will continue to investigate and bring charges against companies that are breaking the law and targeting Vermonters.”
On February 9, 2022, the Attorney General’s Office sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Defendants, who ignored it and continued contacting state legislators. The Attorney General is now seeking an immediate injunction to stop the Defendants’ harassing contacts. The lawsuit also seeks civil penalties and costs, alleging violations of Vermont’s Consumer Protection Act and Telephone Solicitation Act. Under those laws, it is illegal for telemarketers to: (i) solicit callers outside the hours 8am-9pm; (ii) call anyone who is already listed on the federal Do Not Call Registry; (iii) make repeated calls after a request to stop; (iv) make calls with the intent to harass or annoy; and (v) conduct telemarketing business in Vermont without being registered with the Secretary of State.
Today’s lawsuit is the latest action brought by the Attorney General’s Office in its ongoing fight against illegal calls. Last week, Attorney General Donovan announced a federal lawsuit against a California-based company, Telecom Carrier Access doing business as TCA VOIP, and its owner for knowingly bringing thousands of robocalls into Vermont. In 2021, the Attorney General settled with a Florida-based company, Strategic IT Partner, after the company routed thousands of illegal robocalls to Vermonters.
To report scams, complete the Consumer Assistance Program’s online scam reporting form or call 1-800-649-2424. To sign up for the federal Do Not Call Registry or to report telemarketing calls, go to https://www.donotcall.gov/
A copy of the complaint and the preliminary injunction motion are linked.
Categories: State Government
Their big mistake was not offering kickbacks.