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Kevin Rupy Weighs In on the Urge for AGs to Prioritize Domestic Robocall Enforcement

Law360
May 28, 2019

Kevin G. Rupy, partner in Wiley Rein’s Telecom, Media & Technology(TMT) Practice, was quoted extensively in a May 20 Law360 article about how state attorneys generals must prioritize tracking down domestic robocallers.

Mr. Rupy, a former USTelecom executive, said during a panel hosted by the National Association of Attorneys General earlier this month that it's important for state-level enforcers to be conscious of what they can do to go after the U.S. residents who coordinate with and enable overseas robocall operations.

“One of the things that I would want to dissuade conceptions of is this notion that these calls are all coming from overseas. A lot of these calls are being coordinated and facilitated domestically,” said Mr. Rupy.

Mr. Rupy noted examples of recent domestic robocall perpetrators — one of which the Federal Communications Commission fined a record $120 million last year for running what the Agency called a “disruptive” advertising operation involving calling consumers from masked numbers and offering vacation deals from major trip booking websites.

Mr. Rupy also mentioned how the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) negotiated a $1.35 million settlement with a California-based businessman and two of his companies that helped illegal robocallers dial numbers.

"They're here. We can find them. And we want to work with state AGs to help put all those folks behind bars," Mr. Rupy said.

Mr. Rupy said that the threat of jail time has proved effective and referenced a judgement from last summer in which people were locked up for facilitating an Indian call center scam, impersonating government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

"When those call centers got shut down, complaints to the IRS and to the FTC about IRS [scam calls] plummeted," Mr. Rupy said.

The article can be found here (subscription required).