Three Utah-based firms and their owner, Forrest S. Baker III, are agreeing to a proposed court order to settle charges against them from 2016 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in which they are accused of violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and the FTC Act multiple times. A federal court jury found that deceptive and illegal calls were made to more than 117 million consumers pitching the defendant’s movies, as the calls deceived customers about where the proceeds from their purchases would go. The U.S. Department of Justice secured and filed the defendants’ agreement to a proposed order that will impose civil penalties and prohibit telemarketing abuses.
TSR and FTC Act Violations
In 2016, the jury verdict found the defendants guilty of six TSR violations. These included the FTC’s regulations that require telemarketers to use caller identification that names that identify who is selling to the consumer, and call restrictions on telemarketers who are making calls to consumers and not connecting the phone call to a sales representative within two seconds of the consumer’s initial greeting.
A court order announced on March 16, 2018, bars the defendants from the misconduct allegations filed in the complaint, such as making illegal calls to phone numbers on the Do-Not-Call Registry (DNC). Further, the order imposes a $45.5 million civil penalty judgment, which is conditionally suspended except for an amount of $487,735
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