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Oklahoma and Missouri Attorney Generals take action against Satellites Direct

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Massive Prerecorded Telemarketing Operation Stopped
Oklahoma and Missouri Attorney Generals take action against Satellites Direct

December 2001 -- After insisting that their practices were legal and threatening a countersuit, Mike Higgins d/b/a Satellites Direct settled his civil lawsuit with Norman resident Robert Braver. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but were satisfactory to both parties.

Braver had sued Higgins and Echostar Communications Corporation (Dish Network) under the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act as well as the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, alleging telemarketing calls delivered using a prerecorded message, failure to identify the business, and failure to provide an address or telephone number.

Satellites Direct, Inc. also settled actions instigated by the Attorney Generals of both Missouri and Oklahoma.

The Missouri action alleged violations of that state's new "no-call" law, in which telemarketers must obtain the statewide do-not-call list that Missouri residents can sign up for. That action sought nearly $800,000 in fines based on complaints of 158 Missourians at a civil penalty of $5,000 per violation. According to the Missouri Attorney General's press release, Satellites Direct settled with the state with a $15,000 penalty, admitted they broke the law, and stipulated that they would pay $5,000 per call for future violations.

The Oklahoma action ( 217K PDF) alleged two violations of Oklahoma law -- the prohibition of auto-dialed unsolicited telemarketing calls which deliver a prerecorded message, and failure to register with the Attorney General as a telephone seller. With a potential $10,000 fine for per violation, Satellites Direct incurred a potential liability of $20,000 for each and every call. With estimates of several thousand unlawful calls per day, Satellites Direct's monetary liability easily ran in to the billions of dollars.

The Oklahoma case was settled in an agreed judgment ( 239K PDF) including an admission by Higgins, on behalf of Satellites Direct, that they violated the two different provisions of the Oklahoma Comsumer Protection Act. The court ordered the company to cease the unlawful practices, and pay a $20,000 fine.


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© 2003-2008 Robert H. Braver. All rights reserved. The author is not an attorney, and nothing on this web site should be construed as legal advice. All information on this web site is the opinion of Robert Braver or other authors as noted.