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Alleged Robocaller Who The FCC Is Trying To Fine $120 Million Denies Wrongdoing Before Senate

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

A Florida man accused of making roughly 96 million robocalls denied that he was some sort of devious mastermind Wednesday during a congressional hearing.

“I am not the kingpin of robocalling that is alleged,” Adrian Abramovich, the man authorities say has wreaked havoc on traditional phone lines across the country, told lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Committee.

He added that he has not committed “fraudulent activities,” but is willing “to negotiate toward an appropriate fine within my ability to pay such an amount,” according to Reuters — referring to the Federal Communication Commission’s proposed fine of $120 million.

The FCC believes that Abramovich violated the Truth in Caller ID Act, which prohibits callers from purposefully lying about their identity by obscuring or changing caller ID information.

“The proposed fine is based on 80,000 spoofed calls that the Commission has verified,” the FCC said in a press release dated June 22, 2017. “Consumers reported receiving calls that appeared to come from local numbers but, if they answered, they heard an automated message prompting them to ‘Press 1’ to hear about ‘exclusive’ vacation deals from well-known travel and hospitality companies such as Marriott, Expedia, Hilton and Trip Advisor.”

TripAdvisor reached out to the FCC in 2016 to share the complaints it has received from consumers about the robocalls purportedly sent by the site, Reuters reports. FCC confirms that these calls were not made by the aforementioned companies.

Ambramovich says his telemarketing practices, which have been ongoing for more than 15 years, are well within the legal bounds. He was forced to attend the hearing because he was under subpoena.

As many people can assume, Abramovich is not the only one receiving the ire of the federal agency, and likely the larger public. The FCC proposed an $82 million fine not long after for another man who, through his insurance company, allegedly conducted more than 21 million unlawful, automated phone calls.

In fact, stopping robocalls seems to be a high priority for the FCC, as anecdotal and statistical evidence shows that robocalls were worse than ever in 2017.

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