Contact: Attorney General, Drew H. Wrigley 701.328.2210
Attorney General Drew Wrigley announced judgments shutting down a vast robocall operation involving John Caldwell Spiller II and his business partner Jakob Mears, the owners of Texas-based Rising Eagle Capital Group LLC and JSquared Telecom LLC, as well as Rising Eagle Capital Group–Cayman. The defendants blasted billions of illegal robocalls to people across the country. In 2019 and 2020 alone, the defendants bombarded North Dakotans with millions of illegal robocalls, including calls to people whose numbers were on the North Dakota Do Not Call Registry.
Wrigley noted that telephone subscribers detest robocalls and frequently contact his office to complain. “These calls hammer our landlines and cell phones, invading our peace and enjoyment, and constantly interrupt and annoy us at the most inconvenient times,” said Wrigley. “These solicitations are illegal, and we are pleased to have taken these particular actors out of the robocall game, making them accountable and giving our residents some much welcomed relief.”
The Attorney General’s Office sued the defendants in September 2020 alleging violations of North Dakota’s do not call laws, the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule, as well as various state consumer protection laws. The complaint alleged that the defendants used their companies to flood people with robocalls about a variety of scams involving extended car warranties and health care services, among others. They also spoofed calls to mislead people and called people on the Do Not Call list.
Mears and Spiller are now permanently banned from initiating or facilitating any robocalls, working in or with companies that make robocalls, or engaging in any telemarketing. The court also ordered monetary judgments totaling $244,658,640 for Spiller and Mears combined, though these payments will be largely suspended in favor of the permanent operational bans and because of their inability to pay. “While these legal enforcement actions won’t stop all robocalls, they will significantly change the landscape by shutting down these defendants who made billions of calls throughout the country,” said Wrigley.
Wrigley noted that the legal action on this matter isn’t over. “Our work is not yet done,” Wrigley said. The attorneys general are continuing their cases in this same litigation against Florida-based Scott Shapiro, Michael Theron Smith, Jr., and Health Advisors of America, Inc. These defendants allegedly worked with Mears and Spiller to make illegal robocalls targeting North Dakota consumers who never gave permission to be contacted by Health Advisors.
Attorney General Wrigley is joined in today’s settlements by the Attorneys General of Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas.