February 15, 2006
Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon on Tuesday (Feb. 14) obtained court orders to stop the sale of Missourians’ cell phone records by several people currently or formerly associated with the Web site Locatecell.com. On Jan. 20, Nixon sued the defendants for violating state consumer protection laws.
"We continue to investigate other Web sites that are selling private cell phone records after obtaining them through what we believe are illegal means," Nixon said. "Our aggressive actions against Locatecell.com should serve as a warning to other Internet businesses that advertise and sell such services in Missouri: we are on to you, and we won’t allow this type of invasion of privacy in our state."
The consent preliminary injunctions, signed by Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan, are against defendants Data Find Solutions Inc. and its principal owner, James Kester of Knoxville, Tenn.; and 1st Source Information Specialists Inc., of Tamarac, Fla., and its directors Kenneth W. Gorman and Steven Schwartz of Jensen Beach, Fla. Data Find Solutions sold Locatecell.com to 1st Source last September.
The court orders prevent the defendants from attempting to obtain, offering for sale, or selling any information from any cellular or land line telephone service provider regarding any of that provider’s customers in Missouri. The defendants also cannot take orders from Missourians seeking telephone records. They are also prohibited from:
Nixon’s office initiated an investigation into the company on Jan. 19, when an undercover investigator made an online transaction with Locatecell.com to purchase records of calls made on his own private cell phone. After receiving the records on Jan. 20, the Attorney General’s Office filed for a temporary restraining order.
According to the Locatecell.com Web site, anyone could enter a
cell phone number and then receive the name and address of a cell
phone user for $65. For $110, Locatecell.com said it could provide
a list of calls made from a cell phone number. Nixon alleged in
his suit that the defendants did not have authorization from the
wireless and cellular telephone service providers to access the
customer information and records that they advertise on their Web
Nixon also is asking the court to issue a permanent injunction that would include penalties to the state.