Illegal Robocalls Discourage Voting in Primary
According to New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella, an investigation has been opened regarding robocalls that were sent out with the intent of discouraging recipients from participating in the primary elections.
Caller ID Spoofing and Misleading Messages
The robocalls were found to have illegally spoofed their caller ID information to appear as though they were coming from a number associated with the former chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. The recorded messages instructed recipients to call the same number in order to request removal from future calls.
Collaborative Investigation and Identifying the Culprits
The Election Law Unit of the Attorney General’s office collaborated with the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force and the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau to identify the source of the calls. They traced the calls back to a Texas-based company called Life Corporation, owned by Walter Monk, with the originating source provider being Lingo Telecom.
Potential Penalties and Cease-and-Desist Orders
The individuals or entities responsible for the robocalls could face both civil and criminal penalties under New Hampshire laws, as well as federal penalties under the Truth and Caller ID Act of 2009 and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The New Hampshire Department of Justice issued a cease-and-desist letter to Life Corporation, demanding an immediate halt to the violation of election laws.
Ongoing Criminal Investigation
The Attorney General’s office has opened a criminal investigation into the matter. The next steps include sending document preservation notices and subpoenas to Life Corporation, Lingo Telecom, and other relevant individuals or entities. The FCC has also issued a cease-and-desist order to Lingo Telecom.
Preparing for Civil Litigation
The attorney general anti-robocall task force intends to take further steps, including issuing a warning letter and preparing for potential civil litigation against Life Corporation and any other involved entity. New Hampshire will be a co-lead in any resulting civil or criminal action.
Strong Message of Deterrence
Attorney General Formella emphasized the commitment to ensuring the integrity of elections and deterring any attempts to undermine them. He thanked the attorneys general of North Carolina, Ohio, and Indiana for their collaboration and the companies YouMail and Nomorobo for their assistance in collecting data on illegal robocalls.
“Law enforcement across the country is unified on a bipartisan basis and ready to work together to combat any attempt to undermine our elections,” Formella stated. “We are committed to keeping our elections free, fair, and secure.”
Contributions to this report were made by Molly Line of Fox News.