2 States File First DNC Enforcement Actions

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A telemarketing firm agreed to pay civil penalties on charges of violating Pennsylvania's do-not-call registry in the first enforcement action the state has taken involving the no-call law, the state attorney general's office said yesterday.

Kristel Marketing Ltd., while conducting telemarketing for Vacation Charters Ltd., Lake Harmony, PA, called consumers to offer meal certificates, gas reimbursements and accommodations for attending property and timeshare sales presentations, the attorney general's office said.

Kristel, Stroudsburg, PA, did not admit wrongdoing but will pay $1,000 for investigation costs and $33,500 in penalties, $3,350 of which will go in payments of $50 each to 67 consumers who filed complaints against the firm. Vacation Charters, which also faced charges, entered into a voluntary compliance agreement with the state.

Kristel falsely claimed an exemption from the list on the grounds that it offered consumers a prize rather than selling goods and services, the attorney general's office said. The telemarketer also failed to provide proper identity, falsely referred to itself as the "Award Center" or "Galleria Award Center" and falsely claimed affiliation with brand-name resorts including Disney, according to the attorney general's office.

Oklahoma, another state that activated its DNC list at the start of this year, also announced its first no-call enforcement action this week. The state sued St. Petersburg, FL-based Mortgage Investors Corp. on charges of violating the DNC list and asked state courts to levy a $10,000-per-violation fine.

The state received complaints from at least eight consumers about Mortgage Investors, the Oklahoma attorney general's office said. The case is pending.

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