RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Attorney General Josh Stein has won judgments shutting down a massive robocall operation, according to a news release.
Stein said the operation involved John Caldwell Spiller II and his business partner. Jakob Mears, the owners of Texas-based Rising Eagle Capital Group LLC and JSquared Telecom LLC, as well as, Rising Eagle Capital Group–Cayman.
The defendants blasted billions of illegal robocalls to people across the country. In 2019 and 2020 alone, the defendants bombarded North Carolinians with more than 75 million robocalls — including more than 34 million calls to people whose numbers were on the Do Not Call Registry, according to Stein.
“I’m pleased that these defendants can no longer bombard North Carolinians with these nuisance scam calls,” said Stein. “Robocalls harm our wallets and our peace of mind, and I’ll continue my fight to shut down those making these calls.”
Stein sued the defendants in June 2020 alleging violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule, as well as various state consumer protection laws.
The complaint said the defendants used their companies to bombard people with deceptive robocalls including extended car warranties and health care services. They also spoofed calls to mislead people and called people on the Do Not Call list.
Mears and Spiller are now permanently banned from initiating or facilitating any robocalls, working in or with companies that make robocalls, or engaging in any telemarketing.
The court also ordered monetary judgements totaling $244,658,640 for Spiller and Mears combined, though these payments will be largely suspended in favor of the permanent operational bans and because of their inability to pay.
Stein was joined in Monday’s settlements by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and Texas.