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AG Stein Announces Settlement Shutting Down Caribbean Cruise Line Robocalls

Release date: 2/23/2017

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017
 
Contact:
Laura Brewer
(919) 716-6484
 

AG Stein Announces Settlement Shutting Down Caribbean Cruise Line Robocalls
North Carolina Joins FTC and Eight States to Resolve Robocall Case
 
RALEIGH, N.C. - Attorney General Josh Stein announced today that North Carolina successfully settled charges against a company that assisted the cruise line in making unwanted robocalls. The Florida-based cruise line company flooded consumers with billions of unwanted robocalls nationwide. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the State of North Carolina collaborated on the case. In settling the charges, Fred Accuardi and his companies are barred from robocalling and illegal telemarketing, as well as helping anyone else make such calls.

“My office received thousands of complaints from North Carolinians who received these robocalls,” said AG Stein. “Calling people and making false claims is against the law, and my office will not allow it. Caribbean Cruise Line will no longer be able to harass and trick people in this state.”

In early 2015, the FTC, North Carolina and additional states alleged that the companies involved in the scheme illegally sold cruise vacations using political survey robocalls. The FTC and North Carolina filed charges against—and reached settlements with—most of the defendants in the case, including Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc. (CCL).

The CCL robocall campaign ran from October 2011 through July 2012 and averaged approximately 12 to 15 million illegal sales calls a day. Consumers who answered these calls typically heard a pre-recorded message telling them they had been selected to participate in a 30-second research survey, after which they would receive a “free” two-day cruise to the Bahamas. In reality, the calls were designed to market CCL’s cruises and various up-sell packages. The illegal robocalls generated millions of dollars for CCL.

The proposed settlement order announced on Tuesday bars Accuardi and his businesses from: initiating, or causing anyone else to initiate, any robocalls or helping anyone else make robocalls; and engaging in illegal telemarketing practices. The FTC vote approving the proposed order was 3-0. The FTC filed the proposed order in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Other states involved in this settlement include Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington, as well as the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.
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