Billions of robocalls from a single provider? What DC-area attorneys general are suing over

Top legal officials in 49 states accused a voice-over-internet service provider of “initiating and facilitating” billions of illegal robocalls, including some that allegedly used spoofed numbers made to look like they originated in government or law enforcement agencies.

Michael D. Lansky, LLC, also doing business as Avid Telecom, now faces a lawsuit over its operations that allegedly included sending or transmitting 7.5 billion calls to numbers on the federal Do Not Call Registry.

According to D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb, 8.6 million of the calls were placed to District residents.

In Virginia, Attorney General Jason Miyares alleged that more than 325 million calls were made to residents and that scam calls about the Social Security Administration, Medicare and employment were among those made or transmitted.

All of the allegations focus on calls made or transmitted between 2018 and 2023.

According to Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown, the complaint stated that Avid Telecom got as many as 329 notifications from the Industry Traceback Group warning Avid Telecom that it was transmitting fraudulent calls, but the calls continued.

The lawsuit is the result of work by the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force made up of 51 attorneys’ general.

WTOP reached out to Avid Telecom for a reaction to the lawsuit. The statement from Avid Telecom’s attorney, Neil Ende is below:

“Avid Telecom is aware of the lawsuit filed by the consortium of Attorneys’ General. The complaint is predicated on factual allegations that the Attorneys’ General know, or should know, cannot be sustained as a matter of fact and which do not support the legal claims presented. Contrary to the allegations in the complaint, Avid Telecom operates in a manner that is compliant with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations. The company has never been found by any court or regulatory authority to have transmitted unlawful traffic and it is prepared to meet with the Attorneys General, as it has on many occasions in the past, to further demonstrate its good faith and lawful conduct. In this context, the company is disappointed that the Attorneys’ General chose not to communicate their concerns directly before filing the lawsuit. While the company always prefers to work with regulators and law enforcement to address issues of concern, as necessary, the company will defend itself vigorously and vindicate its rights and reputation through the legal process.”

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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