Iowa, Minnesota join lawsuit against company for making illegal, fraudulent robocalls

(ABC 6 News) – The Attorney Generals for the states of Iowa and Minnesota have joined 47 other states in a lawsuit against Avid Telecom, its owner, and its chief officers for facilitating billions of illegal robocalls to millions of Americans.  

The owner of Avid Telecom, Michael D. Lansky, and its vice president, Stacey S. Reeves, allegedly initiated the robocalls that violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and other federal telemarketing and consumer laws, according to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

According to a news release, since 2019, about 9,000 of these fraudulent calls have targeted Iowa alone with 14,395 calls into Minnesota. Avid Telecom has helped make hundreds of millions of calls using fake or invalid caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls impersonating the government, law enforcement agencies, and private companies. They also sent or transmitted more than 7.5 billion calls on the National Do Not Call Registry. 

Between December 2018 and January 2023, Avid sent or attempted to send a total of over 24.5 billion calls. The scam robocalls involved Social Security Administration scams, Medicare scams, auto warranty scams, Amazon scams, and more. The US Telecom-led Industry Traceback Group sent Avid Telecom at least 329 notifications about it transmitting known and suspected illegal robocalls, but they ignored the notifications and continued facilitating the calls. 

“We’re taking action to shield Iowans from fraudulent and illegal robocalls,” said Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird. “This company has helped connect scammers directly with thousands of Iowans over the phone, but we’re pushing back. Thanks to this bipartisan coalition of attorneys general, we are putting the full force of 49 states behind our lawsuit to hold illegal robocalling businesses accountable and protect Americans from scams.” 

“Everybody hates robocalls — and everybody gets them, including me. Minnesotans file more complaints about robocalls with our office than about any other single problem — but because it’s hard for states acting alone to make a dent in them, I joined this bipartisan, nationwide task force so we can tackle this scourge together,” said AG Ellison said. “This lawsuit is our first, and it won’t be our last. Together, we’re taking the fight directly to anyone in the telecom industry who helps robocallers and scammers perpetrate their fraud on the public.”

The 49-state coalition is suing Avid Telecom for violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), the Telephone Consumer Protection Action (TCPA), and other state and federal laws. 

Iowa and Minnesota joined 47 other states in the Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio-led lawsuit. 

To report a robocall, or if you’ve been scammed by one, call the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-657-3787 or click here and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office at 888-777-4590 or email