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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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March 27, 2020

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL ANNOUNCES COURT UPHOLDS JUDGMENT AGAINST DISH NETWORK FOR ILLEGAL ROBOCALLS

Chicago — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court judgment and injunction against Dish Network over illegal calls made to people on the Do Not Call Registry.

The 7th Circuit upheld the district court findings that Dish Network (Dish) is responsible for the illegal calls placed by its retailers because they were Dish’s agents. The court also rejected Dish’s arguments that the penalties for such conduct were excessive under the Constitution. The court remanded questions about the calculation of penalties and damages back to the trial court.

“Robocalls are more than a nuisance. These calls cost people time and money, and I will continue to use the resources of my office to protect Illinois residents from these illegal calls,” Raoul said. “At a time when residents may be receiving telemarketing calls related to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the court’s decision should serve as a deterrent to those who attempt to make a prof-it by engaging in this illegal practice.”

The Attorney General’s office, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the attorneys general of California, North Carolina, and Ohio filed a lawsuit against Dish Network in 2009. In the lawsuit, the coalition alleged that Dish violated federal telemarketing laws by calling individuals listed on the national Do Not Call Registry and by using a prerecorded voice to place calls to residential phone lines without first obtaining the party’s express consent. The complaint also alleged Dish and its order-entry retailers placed tens of millions of illegal calls to consumers through the campaign, and hundreds of Illinois residents complained about receiving unwanted telemarketing calls from Dish or Dish’s authorized dealers.

Following a five-week trial, in 2017 the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois found that Dish was liable for more than 97 million violations of federal and state law and awarded extensive injunctive relief and a total of $280 million in civil penalties and damages. Of that, more than $17 million was awarded to Illinois.

Attorney General Raoul has been a consistent advocate for protections against illegal robocalls. In August 2019, Raoul joined a coalition of attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington D.C. in partnering with 12 phone companies to create a set of principles for telecom companies to fight robocalls. In June 2019, Raoul, in cooperation with the FTC, announced a major crackdown on robocalls that included 94 actions targeting operations around the country that were responsi-ble for more than 1 billion calls. As part of that crackdown, Raoul filed a lawsuit against Glamour Services, LLC; Awe Struck, Inc.; and Matthew Glamkowski, the manager of Glamour Services and president of Awe Struck for allegedly using robocalling and telemarking to solicit home cleaning services. In May 2019, Raoul submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission urging the adoption of its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing.

Consumers who wish to file a complaint concerning robocalls they have received can do so on the Attorney General’s website. Information about how consumers can add their number to the Do Not Call Registry is also available on the Attorney General’s website.

Bureau Chief Elizabeth Blackston handled the case for Raoul’s Consumer Fraud Bureau, and Supervising Attorney Evan Siegel handled the matter for Raoul’s Civil Appeals Division.

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