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AG Nessel Partners with FCC Enforcement Staff on Robocall Investigations

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a new robocall investigations partnership with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between state and federal robocall investigators establishes critical information-sharing and cooperation structures to investigate spoofing and robocall scam campaigns. More than twenty states have now established formal working relationships with the FCC's Enforcement Bureau to support robocall investigations and protect American consumers and businesses.

"Michigan residents have received more than a billion robocalls since 2018," Nessel said. "My department's partnership with the FCC means our state will benefit from the long reach of the commission's resources and allow us to better protect residents from these intrusive calls."  

In August, the FCC proposed a $5.1 million dollar fine against Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl, who are awaiting trial in Wayne County Circuit Court related to intimidating minority voters in Detroit and other cities through a robocall meant to suppress turnout in the Nov. 2020 election. 

"The FCC and state leaders share a common enemy: robocall scammers targeting consumers and businesses around the country," FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. "My team's commitment to protecting consumers fits hand-in-glove with state Attorneys General's ongoing efforts to combat these scams. We share a goal - to protect consumers - and with agreements like this, we can also share the tools needed to achieve it. I thank state leaders for their cooperation and their dedication to enforcing strong consumer protection laws."  

During investigations, both the FCC's Enforcement Bureau and state investigators seek records, talk to witnesses, interview targets, examine consumer complaints, and take other critical steps to build a record against possible bad actors. These partnerships can provide critical resources for building cases and preventing duplicative efforts in protecting consumers and businesses nationwide.  

The FCC offers partner states not only the expertise of its enforcement staff but also important resources to support state investigations. For example, the MOUs may facilitate relationships with other actors in this space, including other federal agencies and robocall-blocking companies, as well as support and expertise with critical investigative tools like subpoenas and confidential response letters from suspected robocallers.