CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia is joining a lawsuit with 48 other states against a company accused of helping its clients make allegedly “illegal” robocalls.
According to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the lawsuit was filed Tuesday May 23, 2023 against Michael D. Lansky LLC, which is known as “Avid Telecom,” as well as the company’s owner Michael Lansky and vice president Stacey S. Reeves. The lawsuit accuses the company of “allegedly initiating and facilitating billions of illegal robocalls to millions of people,” which the suit claims is a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule, among other telemarketing and consumer laws.
“This obviously impacts not just West Virginia but the entire nation. That is why this bipartisan effort is so important,” Morrisey said. “West Virginia remains committed to making progress in combating unlawful robocalls and we will continue to cooperate with other states and national agencies to stop these illegal and obnoxious scam calls.”
Morrisey’s office says Avid Telecom is a “Voice over Internet Protocol” service provider that allegedly sells information such as phone numbers, data, dialing software, and “expertise,” which Morrisey says its own customers use to make robocalls across the nation.
The WVAG’s office says that the company is accused of sending or attempting to send more than 24.5 billion calls between December 2018 and January 2023. Morrisey says more than 90% of those calls allegedly lasted 15 seconds or less, indicating they were most likely robocalls.
According to Morrisey’s office, Avid Telecom is also accused of transmitting more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers that are on the National Do Not Call Registry.
The lawsuit further alleges Avid Telecom is accused of allegedly helping make “hundreds of millions” of calls from spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers. Morrisey says more than 8.4 million of those alleged calls appeared as if they were from private companies or government or law enforcement agencies.
Morrisey’s office says the company is also accused of sending out alleged spam calls regarding Social Security, Medicare, Amazon, auto warranties, credit cards, employment and DirecTV.
Other states taking part in the lawsuit include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming