This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and ten states settled charges against the Florida-based cruise line, Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc. (CCL), for an illegal telemarking campaign that inundated consumers with billions of unwanted robocalls. In settling these charges, CCL’s owner, Fred Accuardi, and all of his companies are barred from robocalling and illegal telemarketing. The settlement includes a judgment of $1.35 million, which will be suspended if defendants pay $2,500. If the FTC finds that the defendants have misrepresented their financial condition, then the entire judgement will become due.

This robocall campaign ran from October 2011 to July 2012 and averaged about 12-15 million illegal sales calls per day. These illegal calls used a pre-recorded message asking consumers to take a short survey after which they would receive a free two day cruise; the reality was that these calls were designed to market CCL cruises and up-sell packages.

This settlement comes after collaboration between the FTC and the Attorneys General of Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington and the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.