Illinois Attorney General's Office Sues Marketing Firm for Selling Fraudulent Customer Lists
Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against an Illinois marketing firm alleging it sold to businesses “lead lists” of potential customers that it fraudulently claimed were verified and screened.
Madigan’s lawsuit, filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court, charges that Ronnie Henderson, of Granite City, and Paula Caveny, of Edwardsville, and their business, Select Marketing Solution Management, sold lead lists to financial advisors, insurance companies and sales people without verifying that listed consumers wanted to be contacted and without checking their names against the national Do Not Call registry.
“At a time when small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, this company charged business owners hundreds of dollars for information that could have caused them to violate the Do Not Call List and leave them potentially libel,” Attorney General Madigan said.
Businesses in Cook, Madison, St. Clair, DuPage, Saline, Adams, Jackson, Douglas, Edgar, Will, Lake and Piatt counties and out-of-state businesses reported to Madigan’s office losses totaling more than $11,000 from purchasing the lists they believed were accurate. Companies that contacted consumers on the lists found numbers were disconnected or consumers reached had never been contacted by Select Marketing for their approval.
Madigan’s lawsuit alleges defendants violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. It seeks to bar the defendants from the business of selling leads, void all pending contracts between the defendants and its customers and require Select Marketing to pay refunds to affected customers. The lawsuit also seeks to impose a $50,000 civil penalty per violation of the act, an additional $50,000 penalty for violations found to be committed with the intent to defraud and to require the defendants to pay for prosecution costs.
Assistant Attorney General Deborah Sterling-Scott is handling this case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.