Whistleblower: FTC pulls the plug on rogue telemarketing operation

  • Updated: March 31, 2012 - 5:07 PM

A telemarketing operation that gathered phone numbers from the National Do Not Call Registry and "bombarded" people with about 2.6 billion calls reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission to cease operation, the commission announced last week.

California-based SBN Peripherals, which did business as Asia Pacific Telecom Inc., used recorded messages, including notorious telemarketers "Rachel at Cardholder Services" and "Stacy at Account-holder Services," to sell a number of products, including "inferior" car-repair contracts and "worthless debt-reduction services," the FTC said.

Caller ID information would often display "SALES DEPT" and a telephone number registered to an offshore company.

The settlement, if approved by a district court in Illinois, would ban Repo B.V., SBN Peripherals Inc. doing business as SBN Dials, Johan Hendrik Smit Duyzentkunst and Janneke Bakker-Smit Duyzentkunst from telemarketing. The defendants must also "properly dispose" of customers' personal information, the FTC said.

A $5.3 million judgment will be suspended if the defendants turn over about $3 million in assets, including $1 million in a Hong Kong bank account, their interest in an office building on the Pacific island of Saipan and seven parcels of undeveloped land, a $375,000 lien on a home, three cars and a recreational vehicle.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/742tfnq for links to the company's recorded sales pitches.

JANE FRIEDMANN

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