Florida Hits Financial DMer With $109K Fine

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced a $109,500 judgment -- which it described as the largest penalty of its kind ever imposed -- against a Sarasota company last week for violating the state's do-not-call list.

The civil penalty was imposed against M.E. Best Financial Services Inc. and company owner Michael Best. "We are pleased that this repeat offender is being punished for calling residents on our 'Do Not Call' list and violating their privacy," FDACS commissioner Charles H. Bronson said in a release. "We took legal action against the company once before, but the message evidently didn't get through."

The department also obtained a permanent injunction against the firm and its owner, prohibiting the continued calling of residents on the list, the use of automated equipment to make such calls and playing a recorded message when a consumer answers.

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