June 11, 2008
St. Louis, Mo. - A fundraising telemarketer that continued to make solicitations to Missourians even after being told by consumers to stop will pay $450,000 to the State of Missouri under a consent judgment obtained today by Attorney General Jay Nixon. Police Protective Fund (PPF) also must not contact Missourians on the state No Call list for a period of two years, under the order approved today by St. Louis City Circuit Judge Edward Sweeney. PPF is incorporated in North Carolina and has offices in California, Texas and Florida.
"Today's significant judgment should serve as a warning to all who engage in repetitive telemarketing - such tactics are not going to be tolerated in Missouri," Nixon said. "Regardless of the stated cause, there is never any place for calling consumers repeatedly against their stated wishes to solicit donations."
Nixon obtained a temporary restraining order last September after Missourians complained that PPF made repeated phone calls to them long after they were asked not to, often employing rude and intimidating tactics in order to obtain donations. Nixon's office worked closely with several St. Louis area police departments as well as other departments from around the state after those agencies forwarded complaints regarding PPF to the Attorney General.
"Any time fundraisers purport to be raising money for law enforcement, it's vital that they follow the laws regarding solicitations so that legitimate law enforcement fundraising efforts are not hurt," said Sheldon Lineback, executive director of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association, which does not use telemarketing. "We appreciate the efforts of Attorney General Nixon to help legitimate Missouri law enforcement organizations."
In addition to the $450,000 payment to the state, PPF is prohibited from contacting any Missouri consumer on the state No Call list for a period of two years. The organization must also establish and implement procedures that ensure future compliance with state consumer protection laws, including maintaining an updated No Call list and a list of consumers who asked the company not to call them; maintaining detailed records of all calls made by PPF to consumers and all complaints and requests not to call received; and performing frequent, random monitoring of its employees and telemarketing subcontractors to ensure lawful conduct.
Last week, Nixon announced that his office had obtained more than $3 million in court orders against telemarketers in No Call legal actions since the Missouri No Call law took effect in 2001. More than 2.5 million Missouri households are part of the No Call list.