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December 27, 2013

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that a federal judge has ordered a Florida company and its owner to pay $90,000 in penalties for violations of state and federal telemarketing laws.

U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller issued a default judgment Thursday against Associated Accounting Specialists Inc. of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and its owner, Jason Page. The company was one of five sued by McDaniel last year accused of deceptively advertising interest-rate reductions on consumer credit cards.

McDaniel’s lawsuit alleged that the company utilized illegal automated telephone calls, known as “robocalls,” to promote its ability to reduce credit-card interest. However, the company never provided the interest-rate reductions that it offered.

“This is the latest in judgments against companies that engaged in annoying telemarketing tactics while misleading Arkansans consumers into believing they could help lower credit-card interest,” McDaniel said. “We heard from countless consumers who were frustrated by these types of calls, and we are glad to be able to take action on behalf of Arkansans to stop these illegal practices.”

The judge prohibited the Associated Accounting Specialists or Page from placing unsolicited robocalls or live telemarketing calls to consumers in the United States, and enjoined the defendants from owning, operating or managing any business that purports to offer credit-card interest rate reductions or debt relief services.

In addition to the $90,000 in civil penalties, the defendants were ordered to pay $4,500 in attorneys’ fees and costs and $998 in restitution.

All five companies sued last year were accused of engaging in tactics that violated state and federal law and making multiple calls to telephone numbers listed on the federal “Do Not Call” registry.

Earlier this month, Financial Ladder Inc. was ordered to pay $107,895.90 in penalties, restitution and costs. In September, the owner of the now-defunct Consumer Global Services LLC was ordered to pay $24,500 in penalties, restitution and costs.

Two of the suits are still pending.