FTC Seeks First Actual DNC Fine Against Braglia Marketing

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The Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that it would seek civil penalties against a Las Vegas timeshare telemarketer for violations of the national no-call list and abandoned call rules.


Braglia Marketing Group made more than 300,000 calls to consumers on the national no-call list after the Oct. 17, 2003 effective date of the list, the FTC said. It also placed 10,000 calls to area codes for which it had not paid no-call registry access fees, and it abandoned calls in "numerous instances" by failing to connect consumers it called to a representative within two seconds of the call being answered.


The case is the first time the FTC has sought fines solely under its no-call rules. The FTC has alleged no-call violations against other telemarketers, but only as part of larger fraud cases.


According to the FTC, Braglia's clients included Flagship Resort Development Corporation and Atlantic Palace Development LLC, both of Atlantic City, NJ. Both clients sell timeshare properties in Atlantic City, the FTC said.


Violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, under which the FTC is seeking penalties in the case, can net up to $11,000 in fines per violation. Because each call is considered a violation, the maximum penalty -- should the FTC seek it -- would range into the billions of dollars.


A telephone number listed for Braglia Marketing Group in Las Vegas appeared to be nonfunctioning yesterday.


An FTC spokeswoman said she couldn't comment on whether the agency will seek fines against Braglia clients on whose behalf the illegal calls were allegedly made. Under the law, clients bear liability for violations of the TSR along with the service agencies that make the calls for them, she said.


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