Florida court allows claim against Telecom company to continue alleging it knowingly transmitted fraudulent calls to residents

In Office of the Attorney General v. Smartbiz Telecom, LLC, the Florida Attorney General alleged SmartBiz transmitted fraudulent calls despite being notified more than 250 times that its network was being used for illegal calls. Smartbiz, No. 1:22-cv-23945-JEM, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148989 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 23, 2023). The court agreed with the Attorney General that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) applied to the Defendant even if it did not “initiate” or make calls because it had “actual notice” of the illegal use of its network and failed to take steps to prevent further transmission of illegal calls.

There are various potential standards of “accomplice liability” under consumer protection laws, including the TCPA, but if an entity receives notice that its business partner is using its services illegally and continues to provide those services, it is very likely that the entity can be held liable. You must investigate claims when you receive them where you can be held liable for the actions of your business partners, even if your contract with those business partners prohibits them from breaking the law.