DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against six individuals and six companies for violating several Ohio consumer and robocall laws.
The complaint was filed Wednesday in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas against Delaware-based Pelican Investment Holdings, three Dublin-based companies and two other companies. Several individuals were named in the suit as well including one person named as the owner and director of all three Dublin-based businesses.
“They’re breaking a bunch of different laws, including misrepresenting what they’re calling about, failing to identify who they actually are, failing to register, failing to get a written confirmation when they get a verbal agreement to make a sale. All of these are violations of Ohio law,” Dave Yost said to NBC4 Friday.
Yost’s office said the prerecorded calls also violated Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and falsely claimed the call was about extending the consumer’s auto warranty, among other violations.
The suit alleges Pelican paid for leads to make illegal pre-recorded calls selling “vehicle service contracts.”
Yost’s office said those “contracts” were carried out by the three Dublin-based businesses — Dimension Service Corporation, Autoguard Advantage and National Administrative Service. According to the Secretary of State’s website, the businesses were registered with the same address in Dublin in 2014.
Yost said he believes the defendants saw the writing on the wall and began to get crafty.
Yost has asked the court for injunctive relief and for the companies to be fined up to $25,000 for each violation of the Telephone Solicitation Sales Act and Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Law.
“When they became aware that we were investigating, they stopped calling people with Ohio area codes. Of course, a lot of Ohioans have got area codes from places other than Ohio. And they kept getting calls,” Yost said.
If you suspect you have been a victim of an unwanted and illegal robocall, you can find resources and report it at Ohioprotects.org.